Born in St Petersburg in 1849, the son of a French Sculptor, Béraud moved to Paris to complete his law studies at the Lycée Bonaparte. Béraud exhibited his paintings at the Salon for the first time in 1872. However, he did not gain much recognition until 1876.
Béraud's work was greeted with great enthusiasm and he was welcomed into Parisian society receiving many commissions for portraits from famous figures such as the Prince d'Orleans and Prince Troubetskoy. He attended many of the evening soirees arranged by the popular hostesses of the time and frequently depicted these scenes in his paintings.
He frequented the same cafés, restaurants and theatres as Dégas, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec and was close friends with Manet.
Béraud's paintings often included truth-based humour and mockery of late 19th century Parisian life.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Béraud dedicated less time to his own painting but worked on numerous exhibition committees, including the Salon de la Société Nationale.