Henri Hayden was born in Warsaw in 1883. In 1902, owing to parental pressure, he enrolled as an engineer in the Polytechnic School of Warsaw, but at the same time also registered at the Fine Arts Academy, where his talent was quickly recognised. With financial help from his father, he went to Paris to study for a year in 1907 and never returned to Poland. Initially, Hayden worked independently in a studio on Boulevard Saint-Michel, isolated from his peers; studying briefly at the Palette art school in 1908, and discovering Gauguin. In Montparnasse, he met and became friendly with the key artists of the cubist movement including Juan Gris, Picasso, Lipchitz and Jean Metzinger. Hayden showed his work regularly, holding his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Druet in 1911 and signing a contract in 1914 with the dealer Léonce Rosenberg and then with Charles Malpel. Hayden reacted against Cubism in 1922 and returned to the direct study of nature; his landscapes from this period have affinities with the work of the school of Pont-Aven. During the German Occupation he took refuge in the South of France, meeting Robert Delaunay in Mougins, then moving to Rousillon d'Apt, where he joined the French Resistance movement and became friends with the writer Samuel Beckett. In 1944, he discovered that his Paris studio had been plundered. After a long period of neglect following his rejection of Cubism, his work began to win increasing recognition again from about 1952 and was shown in Paris, Dublin, Caen, Amiens and Aix-en-Provence. He bought a country house in 1962 near La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, and painted many landscapes of the surrounding area. He died in Paris in 1970. Hayden was mainly a still life and landscape painter. Influenced by Gauguin, then Cézanne and then Cubism, he later moved towards more figurative works following the Second World War. This abstract still life depicts a vase and a book on a table, animated by a tricolour palette of red, blue and black.