Yves Tanguy was born on January 5, 1900 in Paris, France, the son of a retired Navy captain. After his father's death, Tanguy’s mother returned to her native Locronan, Finistère leaving Tanguy to spend much of his childhood with various relatives.
In 1922, at the end of his military service in the merchant navy, where he befriended Jacque Prévert, Tanguy returned to Paris. Here, he was influenced by the magazine The Surréaliste Revolution and the paintings of artist Giorgio de Chirico, as well as life on Boulevard Montparnasse where he and Prévert spent much of their time. Through Prévert, Tanguy was introduced to André Breton and the circle of Surrealist artists.