Grant was born in Scotland but spent his childhood in Burma, and lived in England from 1895. He was a leading figure in the Bloomsbury Group, a loosely-knit circle of artists, writers and intellectuals, resident in the Bloomsbury area of London in the years before the First World War. Grant's painting was strongly influenced by the intense colours of French Post-Impressionism. He was at the height of his popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, although his work went out of fashion after the Second World War. In addition to painting, Grant designed stage décor, textiles and pottery.
An early twentieth-century group of artists and writers named after the Bloomsbury area of London where many members lived. Members included Virginia Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The group did much to promote Post-Impressionist art in Britain.