Henri Manguin was born in Paris in 1874. In 1894 he entered the studio of Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a fellow pupil of Matisse, Marquet, Rouault, Valtat and Camoin, who remained lifelong friends. In 1899 he married his muse and model Jeanne Carette and in 1902 exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Indépendents. Manguin first discovered the South of France in 1904, when he was invited to Saint-Tropez by Paul Signac, with whom he shared a love of fast cars. The dazzling Mediterranean light had a profound effect on Manguin’s work. Manguin and his friends showed paintings with emotionally-charged, anti-naturalistic colour and shifting perspective at the 1905 Salon d’Automne, provoking the critic Louis Vauxcelles to dub them ‘fauves’ (wild beasts). The following year Ambroise Vollard bought 150 of Manguin’s works.
Manguin depicted nudes, landscapes, interior scenes and still lifes in a direct, painterly style, although the palette of his later work is softer and more naturalistic than that of his Fauve period. From the 1920s, like Matisse, he divided his time between Neuilly-sur-Seine to the west of Paris and the South of France, renting, then buying, a house called l’Oustalet at Saint-Tropez. Manguin also made painting trips to Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France and to Switzerland, where he gained important patrons through his friendship with Félix Vallottan. Manguin died at Saint-Tropez in 1949. In 1950 the Salon des Indépendents organized a major retrospective of his work.
The work of Henri Manguin is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.