André Masson was born in France in 1896. His family settled in Brussels, and it was here he began to study art when he was eleven years old, at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts. His early paintings and drawings are influenced by Cubism, but he established his artistic fame as a proponent of Surrealism. He made many pen and ink works using the technique of automatic drawing. At his studio in Paris, he was the neighbour of such figures as Georges Bataille, Antonin Artaud, and Michel Leiris.