Joseph Henri Baptiste Lebasque, french painter, was born in Champigné, France. In 1885 studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and thereafter entered the studio of the artist Bonnat. Henceforth, Henri Lebasque participated regularly in exhibitions of the artists' association and in the salons of Paris. Lebasque also maintained an intense artistic exchange with young painters, especially Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947, the founders of the artists' associations "Les Nabis" and the "Intimists."
In 1903, together with his friend Matisse and other artists, Henri Lebasque founded the "Salon d'Automne". In 1912, the Salon exhibited works by a group of artists, which, because of its distinct style, became popular as "Les Fauves". Lebasque also changed his style in the same vein as "Les Fauves", taking on a similar flatness of form and color, which was actually much subtler in Lebasque's works. In 1924, Henri Lebasque moved to Le Cannet on the French Riviera, where he and his friend Bonnard shared a manikin for their studies. Henri Lebasque was called "the painter of joy and light", by both critics and artists. He was admired for the intimacy of his themes and the unique joy in his colors and forms.
Henri Lebasque died in Le Cannet, Alpes Maritimes, in 1937. Twenty years after his death, the Musée des Ponchettes in Nice presented the first retrospective of the works of Henri Lebasque.
Les Nabis were a group of Post-Impressionist artists and illustrators in Paris who became very influential in the field of graphic art. Their emphasis on design was shared by the parallel Art Nouveau movement. Both groups also had close ties to the Symbolist painters.
Les Nabis artists worked in a variety of media, using oils on both canvas and cardboard, distemper on canvas and wall decoration, and also produced posters, prints, book illustration, textiles and furniture. Considered to be on the cutting edge of modern art during their early period, their subject matter was representational, but was design oriented along the lines of the Japanese prints they so admired, and art nouveau. Unlike those types however, the artists of this circle were highly influenced by the paintings of the impressionists, and thus while sharing the flatness, page layout and negative space of art nouveau and other decorative modes, much of Nabis art has a painterly, non-realistic look, with color palettes often reminding one of Cézanne and Gauguin. Bonnard's posters and lithographs are more firmly in the art nouveau, or Toulouse-Lautrec manner. After the turn of the century, as modern art moved towards abstraction, expressionism, cubism, etc., the Nabis were viewed as conservatives, and indeed were among the last group of artists to stick to the roots and artistic ambitions of the impressionists, pursuing these ends almost into the middle of the 20th century. In their later years, these painters also largely abandoned their earlier interests in decorative and applied arts.