Paul-Jean-Louis Gervais was born in Toulouse, France on 7 September 1859. He was a pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) and of Gabriel Ferrier (1847–1914). He was known for his sensuous paintings of nude women.
He taught at Academie Julian where one of his pupils was American painter and illustrator Abbott Fuller Graves. In July 1891 he won the Prix Du Salon above M. Chigot and Henri Martin. In 1904 he taught British artist Charles Ginner at Academie Vitti.
Paul Gervais’s paintings celebrate seductive women, love, and the virtues of civilization.