La Boutique du Cremier

laboureur 526

Jean-Emile Laboureur, engraving La Boutique du Cremier, 1937, signed and numbered 5/110, from the edition of 110 in this state (only a few proofs were made in a first state).  Reference: Godefry, Sylvain Laboureur 526, second state of two. With the blindstamp of the Société des Peintres-Graveurs Français (Lugt 1195a).

In very fine condition, with full margins, 6 1/4 x 5 1/4, the sheet 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, archival mounting.

A fine impression of this late 1930’s cubist/modernist composition.

Jean-Emile Laboureur was born in Nantes in 1877. He 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.  Laboureur then traveled widely, staying for periods in the US and London, and studying classic art and printmaking in Italy and Germany. Although he had moved back to Paris by 1910, a time when analytical cubism was emerging in the work of Picasso and Braque, he continued working in an abstract, modernist mode, waiting until about 1913 or shortly thereafter to invent a cubist idiom all his own.

Cubism remained an important theme for Laboureur, a theme he varied, sometimes using it as a strong design or compositional component, sometimes only as a subtle background element. His experiments with engraving, started about 1915, began perhaps because of the difficulty of carrying complicated etching materials while working as an interpreter in the British Army, but were also based on his familiarity with the old masters, who typically worked in engraving. Few modern artists use engraving, for although it doesn’t require much equipment, it is far more difficult and time consuming than etching. But engraving became his method, and the clear, clean engraving line seemed to complement Laboureur’s cubism.

By 1937, when he made La Boutique du Cremier, Laboureur was working securely and successfully within his unique modernist idiom, as demonstrated in this delightful composition. The Société des Peintres-Graveurs Français chose this print to include (de hors texte) with the catalogue of their 1938 Exposition.