Robert Henri was an American painter and teacher.
As a young man, he studied in Paris, where he identified strongly with the Impressionists, and determined to lead an even more dramatic revolt against American academic art, as reflected by the conservative National Academy of Design. Together with a small team of enthusiastic followers, he pioneered the Ashcan School of American realism, depicting urban life in an uncompromisingly brutalist style. By the time of the Armory Show, America's first large-scale introduction to European Modernism, Henri was mindful that his own representational technique was being made to look dated by new movements such as Cubism, though he was still ready to champion avant-garde painters such as Henri Matisse and Max Weber.
Henri was named as one of the top three living American artists by the Arts Council of New York.