In 1865, Henri Lebasque was born in Champigné, France. In 1885, Henri Lebasque 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 Bonnard, the founders of the artists' associations "Les Nabis" (the prophets) 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" (wild beasts). 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.