Born in Hereford, Dora Carrington studied painting at the Slade School of Art where she became a close friend of fellow student Mark Gertler. At the age of 22 she met essayist and biographer Lytton Strachey, with whom she lived from 1917 onwards. Their relationship developed in spite of Strachey's homosexuality and various love affairs on both sides. In 1921 Carrington married Ralph Partridge, with whom Strachey had fallen in love, and who now joined the ménage. The house at Tidmarsh Mill where they all lived contained a studio for Carrington and a library for Strachey. When Strachey died of cancer in 1932 Carrington was so devastated that she shot herself some weeks later. Her first major exhibition was held posthumously in 1970.