Le Bal Bullier

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Bal Bullier, woodcut, 1898, not signed [monogram initials el in the plate]. Reference: Laboureur 579, only state. Apart from the numbered edition of about 61. Printed in black on a laid Arches paper, with their watermark, with margins. In very good condition, slight toning verso, 8 3/4 x 11 1/2, the sheet 11 x 14 1/4 inches, archival mounting.

A very good impression of this iconic Laboureur image.

The plate for this print has been destroyed.

In a sale in 1984 Marcel LeComte described a trial proof of this print, before the initials monogram bottom left. He did not show a picture of this proof, and so it was never seen by Sylvain Laboureur, the cataloguer of the most recent Laboureur catalogue raisonne. If such a first state proof exists, this impression (and all the impressions from the edition) would technically be second state impressions.

Le Bal Bullier was a celebrated student dance hall at 31 Avenue de l’Observatoire.

Although Le Bal Bullier was exhibited as evidence of Laboureur working under the influence of Japonisme, Laboureur himself tended to minimize the effect on him of Japanese art; but of course he was taught woodcutting by Lepere, and worked closely with Vallotton, both of whom were influenced by the art of Japan.  Indeed, Japonisme was an important element in the aesthetic atmosphere of France at this time.