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As a Jew and a member of the Resistance, Atlan had been arrested by the Nazis during the Second World War. Feigning madness, he was committed to a psychiatric hospital from which he emerged when Paris was liberated. He was in contact with Asger Jorn and exhibited with CoBrA in 1948-9. His subsequent work combined abstraction with figurative elements. The title of this work refers to Baal, a Middle Eastern fertility deity, whose cult was regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as exemplifying the worship of false gods.