Marcel Duchamp (Born 1887) was born near Blainville, France and was raised in Normandy, in a family of artists. His mother was a painter and painted landscapes depicting the French countryside. One of his earliest pieces of artwork, “Landscape at Blainville,” reflecting his family's love of Claude was painted when he was fifteen years old. Duchamp had two older brothers who both left home to Paris to become artists in 1904, he later joined them to study painting at Académie Julian. He was supported by his Jacques Villon during his studies, and he earned some income by working as a cartoonist. His early artwork evinces his ongoing interest in verbal and visual puns. While in Paris, Duchamp studied Impressionism, Cubism, and Fauvism, and was captivated by new approaches to structure and color. Paris was the ideal place for him to become acquainted with modern trends in painting. But he related above all to Cubist notion of reordering reality.
His early paintings illustrate his interest in machinery and its connection to the body’s movement through space. Early in his career, Duchamp developed a taste for the mysterious allure of Symbolist subject matter. This deep-seated interest in the exploration and themes of sexual desire and identity would lead him toward Surrealism and Dadaism. In 1911, Duchamp met Francis Picabia, and the following year he attended with Guillaume Apollinaire and Picabia, a theater adaptation of Impressions d'Afrique by Raymond Roussel. This experience made a deep impression on him. It is for the first time he felt that as a painter it would be much better to be influenced by a writer rather than by another painter.