In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week: Henri Lebasque, “Baigneuses (Bathers).”
Henri Lebasque (1865–1937) is a name recognized by few. However, critics celebrated the post-impressionist — born in Champigné, France, in 1865 — during his lifetime for the stunning color palette of his works, the joy in their forms, and their leisurely themes. In 1885, the 20-year-old Lebasque traveled to Paris to study at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, where he frequently took part in the Paris Salons and exhibitions shown annually for the art society. By 1903, he had met Henri Matisse, and together the two founded the Salon d’Automne, which exhibited works by the famed “Les Fauves,” among others. By 1924, Lebasque settled in Le Cannet, and he passed away in 1937.
Lebasque’s paintings can be found all across the world and in important private and public collections. Spirited bidding is expected at Rosebery’s, London when one of Lebasque’s oils, titled “The Bathers,” becomes available on September 8. The painting displays a common theme for the artist, who delighted in the casual. Using a gorgeous feathery stroke so characteristic of the age, Lebasque shows us a group of figures, most with their backs toward the viewer. While the foreground is empty, the middle of the image displays a lone female, taking advantage of what little shade nature has to offer. Her shaded form is the only dark reprieve for our eyes in an otherwise shining bright picture. The strong warm hues of the sandy beach are balanced with the cool greens and blues of the water, sky, and mountains in the distance.
“The Bathers” will be featured September 8 during Rosebery’s “Fine Art Auction featuring Decorative Arts and Modern Design” beginning at 10 a.m.
To view the full catalogue, visit Rosebery’s.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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