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Henri Baptiste Lebasque

 (1865 - 1937)
Henri Baptiste Lebasque was active/lived in France.  Henri Lebasque is known for still life, portrait and genre painting.

Henri Baptiste Lebasque

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Henri Baptiste Lebasque
Born in France at Champigne, Henri Lebasque became known as a painter who spread "joy and light" and for works that were intimate in subject matter and pleasing in color and form.  He was in Paris in 1885, when he was age 20, and there he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and with Léon Bonnat, focusing on portrait painting.  Soon he was exhibiting at the Paris Salons and art society exhibitions.  He also assisted Ferdinand Humbert with murals at the Pantheon.

Of special influence on him were his peers, many whom were revolutionary young painters such as ´Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard and who were part of Les Nabis, a group of student artists who banded together at the Académie Julian and asserted that art was personal expression and not something done by outside prescription.  Another group that influenced Lebasque were the "Intimists", which also included Vuillard and Bonnard, and which espoused the depiction of cozy domestic genre scenes with jarringly modernist use of line and color.

Lebasque, along with his friend Henri Matisse became a founding member in 1903 of the Salon d'Automne, whose exhibiting artists became known as Les Fauves (wild beasts) for their brash use of color and savage presentation of shapes.  Lebasque adopted their flatness of shape and color but was more fluid in presentation than many of them.

In 1924, Lebasque moved to the French Riviera to the town of Le Cannet, and he and Bonnard painted there together, often sharing a model.  He died there in 1937.

Museum collections include the Petit-Palais, Musée d'Art Moderne, Musée des Beaux Arts and the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.

Sources include:
Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE
Vienna Fine Arts

Biography from Schiller & Bodo European Paintings
French 1865-1937

Henri-Joseph Lebasque was born in September 1865 at Champigne, Maine-et Loire. After his graduation from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Angers he went to Paris in 1885 to study with master Leon Bonnat at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts*.  In 1893, Lebasque had his first exhibition at the Salon des Independants*, where he met Paul Signac and Maximilien Luce.  One year later he began to visit Camille Pissarro's house on the outskirts of Paris.  Pissarro was one of the first to recognize Lebasque's talents in 1903, praising it at the Salon des Independants.  That year, the Salon d'Automne* was founded, and Lebasque became one of its founding members.

From 1900 to 1906, the artist painted along the banks of the Marne River in a style combining elements of Impressionism* and Pointillism*. After that period, at the suggestion of Henri Manguin, he moved his family to southern France (Le Midi) and painted in Sanary, Nice and Le Cannet where he settled permanently in 1924.

Once in that region of strong sunlight and bright colors, he became enamored of the Fauve* artists, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy and Louis Valtat and his bright canvases reflect their influence. In Le Cannet, he befriended Pierre Bonnard, and the two artists shared the same models. During this period, Lebasque focused on the nude as subject and was successful in capturing the natural nonchalance of his models positioned upon wonderfully patterned fabrics.

Painting during the Post-Impressionist* period, Henri Lebasque exhibited for thirty years at the Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independents with artist friends Maximilien Luce, Paul Signac and Henri Manguin.  He is known as a 'painter of the good life' because his works depict members of his family at home, in gardens, on terraces and by the seashore.  These scenes of daily life are imbued with a quiet innocence and painted in a spontaneous yet well-composed manner. After a rich and rewarding life, Lebasque died in August 1937 at his home in Le Cannet.


Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge
Detroit Institute of Arts
Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Lyman Allyn Museum, New London
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Bridgestone Museum, Toyko
Musee de Petit Palais, Geneva
Musee d'Angers
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Canne
Musee des Peintures et Sculptures, Grenoble
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nantes
Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, Nice
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Musee de l'Annonciade, St. Tropez
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Biography from Daphne Alazraki Fine Art
Biography photo for Henri Baptiste Lebasque
Born in a small village near the Sarthe, Henri Lebasque enrolled as a student at his local art school, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in Angers. In 1886, he went to Paris and briefly studied under Bonnat. He later studied under Humbert and aided in his decorations of the Panthéon.

Lebasque made his début at the Salon des Indépendants in 1896 and also participated in the Salon des Artistes Français. In his youth, he frequently visited the aging Pissarro, who lived near Paris, and in his studio, he learned crucial lessons about line, form and color. Undoubtedly the influence of Pissarro upon Lebasque was far greater than that of Bonnat.

As the era of the first great Impressionists moved toward its close with Pissarro's death in 1903, another era in French art began, with Lebasque participating in the inaugural exhibition at the Salon d'Automne, on whose committee he gave lifelong service. He was at one time wrongly classified with the Fauves, doubtless a result of his exhibiting alongside them in the Salon d'Automne during the exciting and innovative first few years of the 20th century. At the Salon des Indépendants in 1893, he met Luce and Signac for the first time and under their influence adopted the Pointillist technique for some years.

By 1900, Lebasque was married. He settled with his family in Lagny to the east of Paris until 1906, mostly painting scenes along the wooded banks of the Marne. At about that time, he was introduced to the Midi by his friend Albert Manguin and the region wrought a dramatic transformation on his painting, from which he never turned back. He also spent much time painting in other far-flung regions of the land, in Vendée, Brittany, Normandy, Sanary (near Toulon) and Nice.

For periods in 1912, 1915 and 1921 he lived in Les Andelys, on the Seine to the west of Paris and used the backdrop of steep chalky cliffs against the leafy river to great effect in his paintings. For more than thirty years he used members of his own family as models in his paintings and the artifacts, interiors, houses, gardens, riverbanks and beaches in his pictures were drawn from places where he stayed for long periods. After spending a few seasons in Saint-Tropez and Saint-Maxime, he finally decided on Le Cannet, and made his permanent home there in 1924.

Admiration as a fellow artist drew Lebasque to his friend and neighbor Bonnard, whose work bore a similarity in theme to his own. He was also acquainted with other leading artists of the day: Matisse, Rouault, Dufy, Valtat and Manguin, but his connections with them did not inflate his personality and neither did it eclipse his standing as an artist in his own right. He evolved a style all his own, creating a distinctly pleasing, understandable, and accessible way of painting.

His subjects for the most part are landscapes, flowers, still-lifes, nudes and figures, always characterized by an attractive use of light and color. During Lebasque's lifetime his work was widely admired by the public and was well received by the all-powerful critics of the time, whose opinions carried great weight. Lebasque worked on a few public projects, most notably the décor of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

He died at le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes in 1937 and in the same year, a group of his works was shown at the Exhibition of the Maîtres d'Art Indépendants at the Petit-Palais. Twenty years after his death, the Musée des Ponchettes in Nice held a retrospective and another exhibition in 1981 featured his work in St Paul-de-Vence.

Biography from
Henri Baptiste Lebasque (1865-1937)

Henri Baptiste Lebasque was born in France at Champigné in 1865. Lebasque began his education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts d'Angers. In 1886, he moved to Paris where he studied under Léon Bonnat, focusing on portrait painting. During this time he also assisted Ferdinand Humbert with the decorative murals at the Panthéon. Other young painters had influence on Lebasque's work, especially Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, Intimists and founders of The Nabis' Group. Lebasque learned the significance of a colour theory and the use of complementary colours in shading from his acquaintance with Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.

In 1903, Henri Baptiste Lebasque was a founding member with Henri Matisse of the Salon d'Automne, whose exhibiting artists became known as Les Fauves (Wild Beasts) for their brash use of color and savage presentation of shapes. Lebasque adopted their flatness of shape and color; however, he was more fluid in presentation.

Henri Baptiste Lebasque worked on the decorations at the theatre of Champs-Elysées and of the Transatlantique sealiner.

His paintings are represented in French museums, including Angers, Geneva (Petit Palais), Lille (Musée des Beaux-Arts), Nantes, and Paris (Musée d'Orsay).

Lebasque died in 1937 at Cannet, Aples Maritimes.

Twenty years after his death, Musée des Ponchettes in Nice presented the first retrospective of his works.

Biography from Anderson Galleries, Inc.
Hailed as the painter of "joy and light" by the critics and curators of the Louvre during his lifetime, Henri Lebasque's primary concern was the simple expression of sensuous surface.  Lebasque began his studies with Leon Bonnat at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  Within a short time however he renounced the strictures of this formal training and joined Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Paul Signac and Hippolyte Petitjean at gallery Le Barc de Boutteville.

After this he exhibited at the Salon de la Society National in 1896, and then at the Independants and the Salon D'Automne.  Lebasque was a close friend of Henri Matisse, Henri Manguin and Georges Rouault, but unlike them did not share their preference for wild, violent color.  He took inspiration instead from the softer impressionist palette of Camille Pissarro with whom he also studied.

In his outdoor scenes as well as his intimate interiors, Henri Lebasque employed large free strokes with the brush to construct his compositions but in colors that were at once vaporous, delicate and harmonious.  He spent much of his career in the south of France painting along the shores of the Mediterranean or in his home at Le Cannet.  He was a neighbor and close friend of Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, and the three men shared many of the same artistic ideals and aspirations.

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About  Henri Baptiste Lebasque

Born:  1865 - Champigne, France
Died:   1937 - Le Cannet, France
Known for:  still life, portrait and genre painting