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Jean Emile Laboureur (1877-1943)

Jean-Émile Laboureur (1877-1943)
LaboureurPainter, printmaker, designer and illustrator, was born in Nantes, France on August 15, 1877, to a prosperous family. In 1895, he moved to Paris to attend the Faculty of Law but the artistic life of Paris fueled his penchant for art and he entered the Académie Julian. He learned the technique of wood engraving from Auguste Lepère and was befriended by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec who suggested that he quit his studies and travel. For the next decade Laboureur traveled and spent time in the print rooms in Dresden studying European prints. By 1903 he had moved to the United States living in New York and Pittsburgh with travels to Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Albany, Newark and Philadelphia. He produced his first series of prints, Ten Etchings from Pittsburgh, in 1905. During his years in the United States he earned money by giving private lessons in etching. In 1907 he returned to Nantes but by November of that year he let a studio space in Chelsea in London. He returned to France in 1909 and moved to Paris in 1910 and fully embraced Cubism.  In 1914 he enlisted in the British army and while serving as an interpreter in the 12th division he turned to engraving as it allowed him to continue his art without a studio. Laboureur’s first solo exhibition was mounted in New York in 1917 and in 1919 he married. During that same year he began illustrating books and he illustrated more than fifty books during his career. He founded the Société des Peintres-Graveurs Indépendants in 1923 and its members included Braque, Dufy, Vlamnick, Laurencin and Segonzac. He and his wife, Suzanne, moved to Kerfahler from the Breton coast in 1927. Laboureur suffered from Hemiplegia in 1939 and was left paralyzed and unable to work. He died in Kerfahler, France on June 16, 1943

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