This small-scale painting is the most direct and intimate of several early self-portraits by the artist, showing him at the age of about twenty-four.

The warm but low tonality and careful drawing are typical of Grant's extant 1908 to early 1910 paintings, before the impact of Post-Impressionism radically altered his work in 1910/11. Although the striped turban and ear-ring may have been studio props, Grant's appearance reminds us of the numerous artists' fancy-dress balls and parties of this pre-war period, as well as of Grant and his Bloomsbury friends' passion for dressing up for private theatricals. The painting also embodies the artist's alluring and unusual looks which captivated men and women alike, in particular Vanessa Bell, whose close friendship with the painter began about this time.


Vanessa Bell ; Angelica Garnett : Frances Garnett.

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