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. Henri Lebasque learned the significance of a color theory and the use of complementary colors in shading from his acquaintance with Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.
In 1903, Henri 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 Lebasque worked on the decorations at the theater 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).
Henri 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.