Trois Contes Cruels


Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Trois Contes Cruels, set of 9 color woodcuts, 1926, each signed in pencil, with the original portfolio wrapper. Reference: Laboureur 748, from the deluxe edition of 10,  printed in gold and silver, apart from the text (book) edition of 160 numbered copies; there was also an edition of 9 portfolios issued in black and white; printed on a soft cream wove paper.  In very good condition, with margins, the largest image is about 4 1/2 x 4, the sheets each 9 3/8 x 6 1/4 inches.

Fine impressions of this rare set.

According to Laboureur’s notebook entry, he had envisioned this project starting in 1912, and even decided upon the color variations to be used at that time.  Early drawings attest to this plan. Eventually – after 15 years – Laboureur completed the project in a modernist/cubist-influenced idiom quite different from his initial realist sketches.