Le Policeman, Londres


Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Policeman, Londres, 1913, etching on zinc. Signed lower left in pencil [also with the signature and date in the plate]. Reference: Godefroy, Sylvain Laboureur 119, only state, a proof impression apart from the edition of only 14 lifetime impressions (Laboureur calls for one trial impression). In good condition, with the deckle edges, on ivory laid paper with the watermark A Parbeauf. 7 15/16 x 10 1/4, the sheet 9 x 12 3/8 inches, archival matting with non-attached mylar hinging.

A very good impression of this rare print, printed with a light veil of plate tone

Le Policeman represents a critical turning point in Laboureur’s work: the moment when he full integrated cubism within his own unique style. Years after creating this masterpiece the critic Michel Cournot wrote in Le Monde: “Cette scene de la rue fait date dans l’histoire de la gravure francaise. Parce que d’un coup, sans crier gare, Laboureur vient de trouver sa maniere, d’inventer son style bien a lui.”

The importance of this print was underlined in 1988 with the publication of the definitive catalogue raisonne of the prints by Sylvain Laboureur. A small posthumous edition of this print was printed, numbered 15-25 of 25, each with a special “cachet du crab,” dated, and identified by the catalogue’s author; the plate was then cancelled.