Herbin studied at the art school in Lille beginning in 1899. In 1901 he went to Paris, where he painted pictures influenced by Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism; around 1907 he explored the motifs and colors of Fauvism.
In 1909 Herbin moved into the studio building of the Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre, where Picasso also lived, and subsequently embraced Cubism. In the mid-1920s, he developed geometric abstraction, and in 1931 founded the artists’ group Abstraction-Création with Georges Vantongerloo and others. In the 1940s, Herbin further developed his flat compositions of elementary forms into an alphabet plastique, in which each letter corresponded to a color and shape and was associated with a tone.
Source: Museum Barberini, Potsdam