He began his studies at the School of Fine Arts in Bordeaux with Paul François Quinsac and continued at the École des Beaux-Arts with Gabriel Ferrier. In 1909, he was awarded the Prix de Rome for his depiction of Ceres saving the life of a child. While at the French Academy in Rome, he studied with Carolus-Duran and Paul-Albert Besnard. From Rome, he travelled throughout the Mediterranean, visiting North Africa, Greece, Turkey and Spain; all the while sketching and painting.
He was mobilized in 1915, stationed on Martinique, and married in Fort-de-France. As a result, he did not return to Paris until 1920. He remained emotionally attached to the island for the rest of his life, and was an active participant in events and exhibitions related to the "Outre Mer", notably the 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition.
He was an Associate of the Society of French Artists and exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1908 to 1932. In addition to his paintings of the West Indies, he created scenes from the Basque Country. After many years as a history and genre painter, he gradually focused on orientalist and marine painting, as well as portraits.
Media related to Pierre Bodard at Wikimedia Commons