Printemps Breton

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Printemps Breton, 1926, drypoint, roulette, aquatint, etching; signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (37/50) with the imp inscription (printed by the artist). Reference: S. Laboureur 324, second state (of two), from the lifetime edition of about 50 (another edition of about 248, posthumous, was made in 1959 in conjunction with the publication of the volume Laboureur en Briere. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 3 1/8 x 5 1/8, the sheet 9 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a wove BFK Rives paper (with the watermark BFK).

Laboureur utilized anumber of techniques on this small plate to achieve an extraordinary aesthetic effect. The dark sky was created using a roulette tool, ordinarily used in preparing a plate for a mezzotint, which makes tiny pin-pointed marks in the plate which can hold ink; this tool was also used for the large dark field at the bottom center of the composition. The light gray field at the right just under the line of bushes and trees was done in aquatint. The outlines of the trees appears to have been done in etching; the darkening of the trees in drypoint (with associated burr). There is even evidence of engraving in the straight lines darkening the trees at the right. In all, a complex, and marvelously successful little print, by a master of the medium.

In all this print has appeared in at least 17 exhibits, mostly in France.