Cavaliers Anglais En Picardie
Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Cavaliers Anglais en Picardie, engraving, 1916, signed in pencil lower left, numbered (20/35) and inscribed “imp” lower right [also initialed in the plate lower left]. Reference: Laboureur 158, second state (of 2), from the edition of 35, a total of 43 impressions were printed. In good condition, some unobtrusive scuff marks, on a tan laid paper, watermark MBM, with margins, 8 1/2 x 5 3/4, the shet 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches.
A fine impression of this cubist-influenced engraving.
Laboureur studied the old masters in the print rooms of Europe, and here combines a mannerist idiom, with the elongated English figures, with a modernist cubist style particularly evident in the juxtaposition of the houses at the right and the roiling clouds above.
The Battles of the Somme, in Picardy, were among the bloodiest in the history of cavalry (or non-cavalry) warfare; the British cavalry played a crucial role, and suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties (to both men and horses) – but Laboureur was not interested in portraying the tragedy of the war as much as sketching some incidental background moments away from the battleground.