Paul Roche wrote to John Constable in February 1985 following the latter’s purchase of this painting from Roche’s sale at Bonhams: ‘That portrait of me by electric light was painted at No.1 Taviton Street in Bloomsbury where I shared a flat with Marjorie Strachey (for eight years). Duncan used to come up from Charleston every week and I would model for him from morning until after midnight… the light was bad for painting, although he accomplished a great many. We experimented with a large blue light bulb. Occasionally Edward Le Bas would join in, and once or twice Vanessa Bell.’ In a later postcard to John Constable from Paul Roche in February 1988, he recalled of the portrait: ‘I gave Duncan a hard time, complaining that electric light didn’t flatter me and couldn’t he do better!’ The name “Don” that appears in Grant’s inscription on the reverse of this painting was the artist’s pet name for Paul Roche.
Paul Roche (a gift from the artist); Bonhams, London, 1983, as part of the collection of Paul Roche, lot 83, where acquired by John Constable
The Charleston Magazine, Issue 8, Winter/Spring 1993-94, With Paul Roche in Tangier, 1975, reproduced in colour, p.16