Moore inspired his readers to choose more carefully life's ingredients.
"The best ideal we can construct," Moore wrote, "will be that state of things which contains the greatest number of things having positive values and which contains nothing evil or indifferent." In old age, Duncan Grant told one of his young friends that G E Moore's Principia Ethica remained "the source of all my moral philosophy - which possibly does not amount to much".
Lytton Strachey was the first to become besotted with Grant. the audacity, the strength, the amazing subtlety ...he never once offended my sense of the good and true and suitable by a single word." It helped, of course, that Grant had read G E Moore's Principia Ethica, the book which, when it was first published in 1903, removed an accumulation of accepted views.But he also willingly turned his hand to the smallest of tasks, such as decorations for Christmas cards, tiles or cushion covers.At one moment he can be surprisingly audacious, at others, seductively intimate.This movement became so fluent that in 1932 The Scotsman's art critic praised the way Duncan Grant's brush, "charged with juicy greens, browns and yellows, simply ripples over the canvas". Even his swiftest sketch conveys something of his elan and communicates enjoyment.
This association of art with pleasure links Grant with, among others, Matisse, and with Delacroix.The accompanying photograph, taken by Lucinda Lambton, showed that Duncan Grant, an artist associated with a vanished era, was still very much alive and still working.But despite the great range and lively variety of his work, he is most immediately associated with Bloomsbury, a gathering of friends, among them Lytton Strachey, Maynard Keynes and Virginia Woolf, who were collectively named after the area of London where they first held regular meetings.Then suddenly the French post-Impressionists were shown in London, in two exhibitions organised by Roger Fry in 19, and Duncan Grant's style was blown apart.Broken brushwork and heightened, often unrealistic colour, became part of his highly inventive, adventurous manner, in which he often made use of witty distortion.Paradoxically, the most significant relationship in this homosexual's life was with a woman.