Corneille was born in Lüttich in 1922. He grew up in the Netherlands and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1940 to 1943. In 1946 he had his first exhibition in Groningen. He got member of the artist movement Reflux. One year later Corneille, Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys have left the movement and founded with other neoexpressionist artists the new group CoBrA (a legendary movement of color-expressing painters). Corneille made a lot of journeys to Africa, America and Asia. In 1950 he moved to Paris where he lived until his death. Corneille developed an own artistic style, very expressive colorful but still reduced. His work is characterized by a simple drawing technique, a reduction of perspective and shadows and constantly occurring symbols like woman and bird.