Eau Fraiche

laboureur eau fraiche

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Eau Fraiche, woodcut, 1907, signed and numbered (10/30). Reference: Godefry, Sylvain Laboureur 633, second state (of 2). On a cream laid Japan paper, in good condition (slight folding at corner tips). From the series Toilettes.

Provenance: ex Collection Alfred Bourdeley (Lugt 421), with his collector’s stamp bottom right recto.

A fine impression of this early Modernist woodcut.

Jean-Emile Laboureur traveled to Paris in 1895 intending to study law at the Sorbonne, but found himself drawn to the nearby famed Academie Julian, and although he never officially matriculated there, he became immersed in the Parisian art scene. The great wood engraver Auguste Lepere taught him woodcutting, which initiated Laboureur in an involvement in printmaking that would extend through his career. In 1886 he met Toulouse Lautrec, who influenced Laboureur’s emerging aesthetic style, as did the work of Odilon Redon, Bonnard, and perhaps most notably Felix Vallotton, who became a close colleague, and whose woodcut work often bears a close relationship to Laboureur’s. Eau Fraiche demonstrates the close relationship between the two artists, and is among those major achievements which created an aesthetic tradition in woodcutting that has been followed – although rarely as effectively as by these originators - by modernist artists for over a century.