Yves Brayer was born in Versailles, but spent most of his childhood in Bourges. Determined to be an artist from an early age, he set out for Paris in 1924, initially studying at the academies in Montparnasse, and from there he attended the ecole des Beaux-Arts. Whilst still a student he exhibited at the 'Salon d'Automne' and the 'Salon des Independants', and in 1927 Brayer left Paris for Spain with the aid of a state grant to enable him to study the works of the Spanish Masters in the Prado.
On his return to Paris in 1934 he exhibited a collection of paintings inspired by his travels in Europe and Morocco at the Galerie Charpentier to great acclaim. Brayer continued to paint in occupied Paris throughout the Second World War, and also designed the costumes and sets for a ballet performed at the Opera de Paris in 1942.
A large collection of Yves Brayer's paintings are on permanent display both at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Cordes, in the 'Salle Yves Brayer' in Les Baux de Provence, as well as various museums in France and elsewhere. Yves Brayer died in 1990