Grant’s substantial painting The Baptism (see F. Spalding, Duncan Grant: A Biography, London, 1997) was worked on in 1919, the artist intending to show it in his first solo exhibition in January 1920. He did not finish it in time and it remained at Charleston for many years. It is not known whether the present work was a study made specifically for the Baptism or – more likely – a work of the same period which Grant adapted for the scene of male figures around Christ with water rather than earth in the foreground and angels floating in the trees. By the time Grant had finished the painting, little was left visible of this initial landscape study.
We are very grateful to Richard Shone for preparing this catalogue entry.