Claude Venard (French, 1913–1999) started training as a painter at the age of 17 at the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris. In 1936, he was part of a group show at the Galerie Billet-Worms, which critic Waldemar George hailed as the birth of the group Forces Nouvelles. During the next four years, this group promoted a new form of figuration, marked by the rejection of Impressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Over time, Vernard distanced himself from the group, which became increasingly figurative. In 1939, the group officially split, but Venard continued to gain recognition during and after the war.