Chas Laborde: Marie-Claude Laborde's Great Uncle

Born in 1886 of Bearnaise origin, Chas Laborde was a reporter, a painter, an engraver, a cartoonist and a poet.

He was one of the great artists of the beginning of the 20th century.

He was open to the world and open to life. Colette once said of him, after he had illstrated the "Claudines", "He made twenty of these villages bloom, with his colours, cool green and tulle rose. One village got a belfry, another a little train, a line of poplars, a house, a flock of little girls scurrying out of schoolhouse..."

Pierre Mac Orlan would meet with Chas frequently on the Butte Montmartre, sketch pad in pocket. Like Toulouse Lautrec, Chas could be seen as the Folies-Bergères and the Moulin Rouge.

A traveller, and witness to his times, he went to England, New York, Berlin, Moscow and Spain in '36.

His friends included Colette, Marcel Aymé, Paul Morand, Pierre MacOrlan, Francis Carco, Gus Bofa Dignimont, Van Dongen, Ravel, Albeniz, Valéry Larbaud, Jean Giraudoux, Dufy... He illustrated the works of Anatole France, who had just been awarded a Nobel prize, as well as Colette's 'The Libertine Ingenue' and her 'Claudines'.

He drew and painted scenes from everyday life.

At the Café de la Rotonde in Montparnasse he met with his friends: Picasso, Derain, Kisling, Foujita and others. They were to change history.

In addition to his many illustrations, Chas Laborde produced a series of albums: 'Streets and Faces of Paris', 'Streets and Faces of London', 'Streets and Faces of Moscow', 'Faces of the Spanish Revolution', 'Paris in 1937' and 'Pictures of Paris'.

Article about Chas Laborde, "Mémoire d'images"

"Chas Laborde : Le flâneur sentimentale." Click to read article (in French).

Article sur Chas Laborde dans Mémoire d images