British painter and designer, born in Hereford into a comfortable middle-class family. She studied at the *Slade School, 1910–14, and from 1917 lived with the writer Lytton Strachey, one of the leading figures of the *Bloomsbury Group. Her emotional life was complex and often distressing, for Strachey was a homosexual and Carrington married another man (Ralph Partridge) and had numerous affairs. Nevertheless, she was utterly devoted to Strachey and she committed suicide a few weeks after his death.
Carrington painted portraits, landscapes, and figure compositions, did designs for the *Omega Workshops and for the Hogarth Press (owned by Leonard and Virginia Woolf), and in her later life put a good deal of time into decorative work at her house Ham Spray in Wiltshire, where she lived with her husband and Strachey from 1924. She also devoted much of her energy to a voluminous correspondence, which she illustrated with delightful drawings. Her work was seldom exhibited during her lifetime and she was virtually forgotten for years afterwards. A collection of her letters and extracts from her diaries was published in 1970, marking the beginning of a revival of interest in her. Her brother Noel Carrington (1895–1989) was a publisher and book designer.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)