The Dutch draughtsman, painter and sculptor, whose real name is Cornelis Guillaume van Beverloo, was born in Liège in 1922. During his studies from 1940 to 1943 at the Academy of Art in Amsterdam, he became friends with Karel Appel. They travelled and participated in exhibitions together. During his time in Paris, he met various artists, including Paul Klee and Joan Miró.

In 1948, Corneille co-founded the artists' group COBRA and was one of the leading illustrators of the magazine of the same name. The works of the artists in this group were influenced by the impressions of the Second World War and the post-war period.

In 1950, together with Appel, he moved to Paris. The following years were marked by numerous trips to Central Africa, Asia and South America. His trip to Cuba, in particular, influenced his imaginative style, which from then on concentrated on the woman-bird-palm motif. Corneille was always fascinated by myths, religious teachings and the "primitive" art of the different cultures.

He is also famous for his poetic world. Women, cats, birds and plants are recurring motifs in his work, which he painted in very intense colours. "I live with plants, with cats, I live with birds, and I live with women - this is my world that I translate".

Already in 1954, his works were exhibited at the Venice Biennale and five years later at the documenta in Kassel, Germany. From then on, they became an essential part of renowned museums and important private collections all over the world. Corneille lived and worked in Paris until his death in September 2010.