In 1916, Duncan Grant and David 'Bunny' Garnett, moved with Vanessa Bell and her children to Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, a rented house in the middle of a working farm on the Firle Estate, Sussex, where, as conscientious objectors, Grant and Garnett found work on the land during the war. Charleston was to remain Bell and Grant's country house for the rest of their lives, providing a welcome retreat from London. The farmhouse would become the home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury group: Garnett, Clive Bell and Maynard Keynes would all live at Charleston for considerable periods; and Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry were also frequent visitors.
This highly typical Charleston still life shows chrysanthemums on a round table that, along with Grant’s decorated screen, was in the artist’s studio; both appear in a number of interiors and still lifes and remain at Charleston. The printed square on the table, probably Italian, was a favourite still life component in the early 1930s.
The model for the nude male (recto) is almost certainly Tony Asserati who posed for Grant on a number of occasions in the mid-1930s at the artist’s studio at 8 Fitzroy Street.