Jean-Emile Laboureur (born Nantes 1877, died Pénestin 1943) painter, engraver and illustrator. At the age of 18 he studied at the Académie Julian. His mentor, industrialist and art collector Lotz-Brissoneau, introduced him to print-maker Auguste Lepère, who taught him wood engraving. He traveled extensively in Europe the US and Canada. He met and was inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec.

William Orpen writes in An Onlooker in France (1924 edition, pages 26 & 27): –

“Shortly afterwards I went to live in St. Pol, a dirty little town, but full of character. The hotel was filthy and the food impossible. We ate tinned tongue and bully-beef for the most part. Here I met Laboureur, a Frenchman, who was acting as interpreter – a very good artist. I think his etchings are as good as any line of work the war has produced. A most amusing man. We had many happy dinners together at a little restaurant, where the old lady used to give us her bedroom as a private sitting-room, dining-room. It was a bit stuffy, but the food was eatable”.

Judging from the following two images, Orpen was clearly influenced by Laboureur.

Jean Emile Laboureur ‘Return from the Trenches’ (1916).


Goodbye-ee by William Orpen – Named after the 1917 hit song Good-Bye-ee by R.P. Weston & Bert Lee.


A link to the song on YouTube: –

(St. Pol also know as Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise).


Posted by Dominic Lee.