Henri claimed that he wanted to create art that's like an armchair, art that has a calming and soothing influence on the mind. Henri began to paint after his mother bought him some art supplies in 1889. The mother bought him these supplies to entertain him when recovering from appendicitis. He later decided to become an artist because to him, this was "a kind of paradise." He studies in Academie Julian, Paris in 1891. He was a student of Moreau and Bouguereau.
His traditional works were influenced by a range of artists. Later in 1896, he was introduced to the work of Van Gogh and impressionism by John Russel, an Australian painter. John taught him about colour theory that was impactful to the development of Henri's style.
Blue Nudes Series
Henri began creating the series of blue lithographs in 1952. This was one of his most productive late years. The Blue Nudes series entails four nude female figures. All in different poses and they showcase the different techniques that Henri has developed in his life. These pieces of art appeared to be simple but they took Henri weeks to create a perfect form. He took his time to create them and from the looks of things they portray a well thought art of that time.
The Blue Nudes series enables Henri to achieve his drawing on paper aim. His assistants preprinted the paper with blue gouache and Henri drew these forms with scissors and later created them into figures. Henri derived the poses from The Joy of Life, one of his masterpieces. Furthermore, he continues his exploration of the female form and that became important throughout his colourist career.
Henri chose the blue colour to showcase distance and volume. Furthermore, despite the flatness of the paper, Henri was able to create a sense of relief. That's by making the cut-outs and overlapping the different shapes. The first Blue Nude was thought to reminisce La Serpentine, his 1909 sculpture. These figures also indicated his influences on the Tahitian sculpture. It was one of his interests that he grew to love during his travels. The series was a result of his quest to create art that had a balance of serenity and purity. Art devoid of depressing or troubling the subject matter.