Germaine Richier was born in Grans, near Arles. She studied carving in Montpellier from 1922 to 1925 and then was taught privately by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle in Paris until 1929. During the early-1940s, when she was living in Zurich, Richier began to blend aspects of the human form with those of insects and even plants. She is associated with the 'existentialist' movement, which has much to do with reactions to the trauma of war. Richier was one of the leading French sculptors of this post-war period and was as influential in France as Henry Moore was in Britain.