Claudio Bravo was born in Valparaiso in 1936. He showed interest at a very early age in the works of Rembrandt, Tiziano, Francisco de Zurbaran and Diego Velazquez. He studied with architect and artist Miguel Venegas Cifuentes and soon was making a name for himself in Santiago and Concepcion with his exceptional portraits. His first exhibition was held in 1954 and in the years following, he did some dancing and theatre work.
Bravo worked at the "Teatro de Ensayo" of the Catholic University and danced professionally in the Chilean Ballet Company. In 1972, he showed his work in the fifth version of "Documenta" in the German city of Kassel. Bravo has been the subject of two retrospective exhibitions, the first in 1987 at the Elvehjem Museum of Art in Madison, WI, the second in 1994 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile. He received the prestigious Gold Medal of Honor from Casita Maria settlement house of New York in 1996.