Born on October 19, 1927, in Brussels, Pierre Alechinsky grew up with varied artistic interests that included graphic techniques, folk art, and medieval book illustrations. From 1944 to 1948 he studied art at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture et des arts décoratifs (La cambre), Brussels. Alechinsky joined the group Jeune Peinture Belge (also known as Jonge Belgische Schilderkunst, young Belgian painters, 1945–48) and had his first solo exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn, Brussels, in 1947. During a stay in Paris in 1948, he was deeply impressed by the work of Jean Dubuffet and Max Ernst, feeling particularly drawn to the former's Art Brut. In March 1949, Alechinsky visited an exhibition featuring artists from the Cobra group (1948–51) at the Séminaire des arts, an experience that would have a lasting effect. Formed by painters from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam, the movement distinguished itself through bold, expressive compositions inspired by folk and children's art, as well as by the work of Paul Klee and Joan Miró.