Christine Lenoir and Maria de la Ville Fromoit have confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Le goûter, Aix-les-bains depicts Nono, the artist's youngest daughter, who sat for many of his celebrated domestic works of the period as well as an adolescent portrait for Henri Matisse, Lebasque's friend and sometime neighbor (fig 1). Framed by parted curtains and the lush garden foliage as backdrop, the scene is characteristically intimate, with Nono's serene gaze fixed above the table's casual array.
By the end of World War I, Lebasque had moved away from the painterly, Impressionist style which marked his 19th and early 20th century works, favoring the flatter application seen in the present painting: "Simplicity of pattern, a concept originally taken from Japanese print-making, led to elaboration of color and line thickness, both aspects cultivated by the Fauve group. Lebasque incorporated their limning technique with broad soft color planes, and finished with a successful blending of personal style and sensitivity to contemporary innovations in thought regarding color and pattern" (Lebasque, exh. cat., Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, 1986, p. 20).
The first recorded owner of the present work, Frédéric Manaut (1867-1944), was among Lebasque's most fervent patrons and helped to establish the "Society of Friends of Henri Lebasque" in August 1937, shortly after the artist's death. Members of the society included Paul Vitry--author of the 1928 monograph in which Le goûter, Aix-les-bains appears--Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard and Georges Rouault.
(fig. 1) Henri Matisse, Nono, Portrait de Mademoiselle Lebasque, 1909. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.