Images of the First World War
Jean-Émile Laboureur. Images de la Grande Guerre is the first exhibition that focuses exclusively on Jean-Émile Laboureur’s (1877-1943) artistic production during World War I.
As the interpreter for British and American troops, Laboureur created a large number of etchings which earned him the title of “the war’s most penetrating artist” (as stated by poet Guillaume Apollinaire). This acclaim can be explained by his remarkable mastery of engraving techniques, which were very fashionable at the time, and by his original graphic and modern style.
In addition to his etchings and drawings, the publications he created in collaboration with other artists (Xavier Marcel Boulestin, Raoul Dufy, Roger Allard, André Billy) allow us to assess the work of this prolific artist. Alongside private archives, preparatory drawings and etching plates, and his correspondence (with Raoul Dufy, Guillaume Apollinaire and Marie Laurencin), the exhibition allows visitors to understand the creative process of an artist who would later be in high-demand as a book illustrator (from Jean Giraudoux to André Gide, by way of Colette) in the postwar period.
It also offers a perspective on his wartime production by also featuring the work of other artists (Marcel Gromaire and Raoul Dufy) as well as photographs and historical films.
This exhibition – which includes loaned works from collections that are public, based in Paris or private – has received support from partnerships with the Dramatic Arts section of the Conservatoire de Nantes and with the Musée de l’imprimerie de Nantes.