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Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), L’Amour, woodcut, 1910, signed in pencil lower right and annotated “a J. E. Laboureur”, printed on a chine appliqué, in adequate condition apart from small creases mostly in margins, a stain and associated thin spot lower left. Printed apart from the early edition of 100 which were signed and numbered by Dufy (there was also a later edition unsigned and estate stamped); this is probably a proof apart from the initial edition of 100 reserved for the artist (which he then gave to Laboureur). Impressions from the original edition are now rare. 11 7/8 x 12 1/2, the sheet 17 3/8 x 20 1/2 inches.
A very good impression of this important woodcut.
It is quite fitting that we find Dufy inscribing this woodcut to Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943). Laboureur and Dufy were contemporaries (born in the same year, 1877), and both were influenced by similar currents of modernism, including the adaptation of the woodcut technique to modern art (particularly the example of Vallotton’s woodcuts), and of course Cubism. Dufy had an early exposure to Cubism (in 1908, working with Braque at L’Estaque, near Marseilles); Laboureur created his unique adaptation of the Cubist idiom a few years later.
L’Amour is one of a set of woodcuts Dufy made on his return in 1910 from a visit to Munich; observers have noted that it shows evidence of his being inspired by the German Expressionists. But largely because of its date and Dufy’s involvement with the Fauvists, L’Amour can be seen as an important example of Fauvist woodcutting. The set of woodcuts was exhibited at the Salon d’Automne of 1910.