La Cabaretiere Obese


Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), La Cabaretiere Obese, engraving, 1917, signed in pencil lower left and numbered 7/8 lower right, also inscribed imp. Reference: Sylvain Laboureur, Godefry 172, first state (of 2). There was a trial proof and eight impressions of the first state, made in 1917; then in 1921 an edition of 45 in the second state. In very good condition, on greenish/ivory laid paper, with an elaborate Crown with the initials MBM watermark, with margins, 7 1/2 x 6 3/4, the sheet 8 7/8 x 7 1/2, archival matting.

A fine impression, still with wiping marks and plate tone, especially on the apron of the woman.

The first state is compositionally complete, but before lines were added on the figure’s apron, some cross-hatching upper left corner, and a few other more minor additions.

La Cabaretiere Obese was shown in the famous The Cubist Print exhibit (1981), and widely exhibited in other shows. Laboureur also made a painting of this subject.

In a review in the Daily Telegraph (1929) R.R. Tatlock wrote: “Depicting a perfectly enormous lady in a wine cellar that seems only just large enough to contain her and the heap of barrels…the woman bears in her arms, like so many infants, a dangerously large number of tiny glasses and bottles.” He called this an example of  Laboureur’s subtle humor.