Laboureur, Jean-Émile

1877 – 1943

Born in Nantes to a prosperous bourgeois family, Jean-Émile Laboureur briefly studied law before realizing that his passion lay in art. His initial foray into printmaking was with woodcuts but extensive studies in Germany and then Canada and the United States switched his focus to etching.

After several years spent working and teaching in New York and Pittsburgh he returned to Europe and after traveling to England, Turkey, Greece and Italy he settled permanently in France.

In the 1910’s Laboureur’s images reflected the Cubist style fashionable at the time. His artistic career was interrupted during WWI while he served as an interpreter for the British Army. With peacetime he married and embarked on a very successful career illustrating over 50 books.

In 1923 he founded the Society of Independent Painters and Engravers whose members included Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac among other.

Sadly his artistic career came to a sudden end in 1939 when we was afflicted with a paralyzing disease that left him unable to work. He died in 1943.