Guillaume Corneille, otherwise simply known as Corneille, was a Dutch radical artist who was born in 1922. Although he was born in Belgium, his parents were Dutch, and they moved back to the Netherlands when Corneille was 12. Skilled in paint, print and ceramics, Corneille studied at the Academy of Art in Amsterdam, where he became friends with fellow artist Karel Appel. Together, the two friends were responsible for founding Cobra, an Avant Garde group made up of international artists. The movement had a great influence on Scandinavian art, which is similar in its simple, bright and colourful style.
In 1951, Corneille moved to Paris where he went beyond the naturalistic nature of his work and began painting in a cubist style. He took a lot of his inspiration from modern artists like Paul Klee and Joan Miro, who worked boldly in surrealist styles. Similarly to the reputable artists of Cubism, such as its well-known founder Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Corneille became inspired by primitive art and started to collect African artefacts. Showing that Corneille’s art was influenced by all walks of art, his sensual use of colour was similar to that of the fellow Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh. The imaginative content of his work made it stand out, as though Corneille had hybridised the colours and shapes of several influencers to create his unique scenes of birds-eye views in a childlike context.