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JEAN-EMILE LABOUREUR Nantes 1877 – 1943 Kerfahlen
A Woman in a Hat Shop (Devanture de modiste).
Watercolor, heightened with gouache, ink, gray wash on green paper; 1912. Annotated:
J.E. Laboureur, l étalage de la modiste Paris 1912//aquarelle provenant de l atelier de l artiste Suzanne Laboureur octobre 1987.
Exhibited: Nantes, December 1966 – January 1967; Nantes, July – October 1977.
Published: Sylvain Laboureur, Catalogue complet de l oeuvre de Jean-Emile Laboureur, Neuchâtel, Ides & Calendes, 1991, vol. III-IV, page 207, no. 282, illustrated.
Laboureur was a painter, printmaker and draftsman whose images of daily life in France from the beginning of the 20th century until World War II defined the grace and elegance of French culture. At the core of his art lies a sense of wit in the use of line itself.
Laboureur began to exhibit in Paris in 1896, at the relatively young age of 19. He had studied with the painter and printmaker Auguste Lepère who was himself a considerable force in the revival of the woodcut in France.
His first exhibited works were, in line with his training with Lepère, woodcuts. After a period of travel, he settled in Paris and in 1911 exhibited a series of etchings. His style reflected an interest in Cubism that he fashioned into a highly recognizable personal style. For all his interest in personal life, Laboureur always retained a sense of ironic detachment from his personages, never descending into chic for its own sake.
In the case of our drawing the figure seen from the rear seems almost overwhelmed by her elegant hat and voluminous coat. The hats before her are real confections in the fullest sense of the term, thus as insubstantial as frosted cakes to which they bear an unmistakable resemblance. The very technique of our sheet– the sprightly touches of colored gouache on the light green paper, all in pristine condition – enhances the
wit of this most unusual subject.
279 x 307 mm 11 x 12 1/16 inches