Gris was born in Madrid. In 1906, he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, and Fernand Léger. He began to paint seriously in 1911 and developed his belief in the importance of mathematics in painting. In 1924, Gris designed ballet sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev and the famous Ballets Russes. After October1925, Gris was frequently ill with bouts of uremia and cardiac problems. He died of renal failure at the age of 40.