Paul Delvaux was born in Antheit, Belgium. At the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels he studied architecture from 1916 to 1917 and decorative painting from 1918 to 1919. During the early 1920s he was influenced by James Ensor and Gustave De Smet. In 1936 Delvaux shared an exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels with René Magritte, a fellow member of the Belgian group Les Compagnons de l’Art. Delvaux was given solo exhibitions in 1938 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and the London Gallery. That same year he participated in the Exposition internationale du surréalisme at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, organized by André Breton and Paul Eluard. Delvaux executed stage designs for Jean Genet’s Adame Miroire in 1947. From 1965 to 1966 Delvaux served as president and director of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts of Belgium. The painter had several retrospectives, the first was held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1944–45, and later at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille in 1965, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1969, at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1973, at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the National Museum of Modern Art of Kyoto in 1975.