In 1883 Pierre Bonnaud entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons, where he was taught by J.B. Poncet. He then went to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where his teachers were Jean-Paul Laurens, Gustave Moreau, Bonnat and Gérôme. The colour harmonies Bonnaud learned from Gustave Moreau are most in evidence in his unsentimental portraits of Salomé and Diana. His works include: Idleness (1892); Old Song (1898); At the Gunsmith's (1899); Charge! (1900); Death of Hippolytus (1907); and End of the Intrigue (1910). He also worked for fashion magazines.
Pierre Bonnaud exhibited at the Lyons Salon from 1888, winning a medal of honour in 1899, and at the Paris Salon from 1891.