Trinity House Paintings
Born in northwest France at Champigné (Maine-et-Loire), Henri Lebasque started his education at the Ecôle des Beaux-Arts d’Angers, and moved to Paris in 1886. Here, Lebasque started studying in the academic studios of Léon Bonnat, a painter who had lived in Spain and stressed the importance of drawing. In Paris, Lebasque also met Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir, who later would have a large impact on his work. He was a contemporary of the Fauvist movement, and showed at the first Salon d'Automne with his friend Henri Matisse in 1903, but always retained his own personal painting style rather than taking up the theories of the fauves. Lebasque's acquaintances with pointillists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, developed in an understanding of colour theory, emphasizing the use of complementary colours in shading (as opposed to black).
In contrast to these aggressive painters and strong theorists, Lebasque's vision ran parallel to movements and continued forwards. His pieces were coloured by the soft tenderness with which the younger generation from the Nabis and the Intimists painted. Especially Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, founders of the aforementioned movements, who often focused on the calm and quietude of domestic subject matter.
After 1905, at the aformentioned Salon d'Automne Lebasque met Henri Manguin, who made him discover the south of France. This time in the south of France would lead to a radical change in Lebasque's colour palette. His environments are warm and welcoming, and his compositions are often based on very recognisable places.
Unlike many of the avant-garde artists of the early 20th century, Lebasque had some commercial success during his lifetime. His work decorated both theatres of the Champs-Elysées and a transatlantic sealiner.
Lebasque died at Cannet in the French Riviera in 1937.