La Pompe Notre-Dame

  • New
Reference: S42026
Author Charles MERYON
Year: 1852
Measures: 251 x 172 mm
€1,000.00

  • New
Reference: S42026
Author Charles MERYON
Year: 1852
Measures: 251 x 172 mm
€1,000.00

Description

Etching and aquatint, 1852, printed in brown-black ink. Signed in plate, lower left: C. Meryon ft. Imp Inscribed, following signature in plate, lower left: R. No St. Etienne-du-Mont 26 /Publie par L’Artiste; title, and Impe A. Delâtre R. St Jacque 176 Dated, lower right corner: 1852

Example in the VII state of IX or VIII of X, published by L'Artiste. Very good condition.

From the series 'Eaux-fortes sur Paris' by Charles Meryon, a series of 22 etchings published by the artist in three parts between 1852 and 1854.

The demolition of the water pump on the Notre-Dame bridge, ordered by the Paris municipal government in 1851, encouraged Meryon to select the old structure as a subject for his etching the following year. As part of the plan instituted by Emperor Napoleon III to improve city infrastructure, the water supply system was overhauled, rendering this seventeenth-century pump defunct. Meryon wrote in 1853 of his regret for its destruction, because the pump had been an "unusual and curious thing" in a city that was becoming "more and more regular."

A pioneering master of original etching in France, Charles Meryon (Parigi 1821 - Charenton 1868) was a solitary and disturbed genius of great creative power. He was described by the leading figure of the British Etching Revival, Sir Francis Seymour Haden, as "undoubtedly one of the greatest artists on copper that the world has produced" - no etcher could wish for greater praise. Indeed, the sincerest form of flattery, that of imitation, has been displayed of Charles Meryon's etchings more than of almost any other artist excepting Rembrandt.

References:

Burty ,45; Wedmore, 15; Delteil & Wright, Catalogue raisonné of the etchings of Charles Meryon 31 VII/IX; Schneiderman, The Catalogue Raisonné of the Prints of Charles Meryon, 26 VIII/X; Delteil, 31 VII/IX.

Charles MERYON (Parigi 1821 - S.Maurice 1868)

The illegitimate child of a travelling English physician and a dancer at the opera house, Charles only first assumed the surname of Meryon when he discovered the true circumstances of his birth upon joining the Naval School at Brest in 1837. The revelation of his illegitimacy produced a violent shock for the strangely impressionable young man, which cast over his life an ineffaceable tinge of melancholy and timidity. Whilst serving with the Navy, Charles Meryon sailed as far afield as Australasia and the South Seas, and he recorded his voyages in many sketches, aspects of which are included in his etchings of later years. It was during his time in the Navy that his nervous sensitivity appears to have developed, for Charles Meryon was morbidly conscious of the slightest slur and became increasingly suspicious of his friends - whilst away on Naval business his mother died of mental illness. Upon his return to France at the age of 25, with only a small inheritance, Charles Meryon resigned his naval post and determined to become a professional artist. Based in Paris he began painting lessons, however he suffered from Daltonism, a form of colour blindness in which one colour is mistaken for another and by 1850 his career as a painter had already effectively ended. It was as a graphic artist, and especially as an original etcher, that Charles Meryon was to excel. He studied at the studio of E. Blery, the engraver, copying portraits and engravings, but it was one master in particular, Renier Zeeman, who was to seize his imagination and transform him into an etcher. Rapidly Charles Meryon developed a brilliant dextrous ability with the etching needle and by 1849 he conceived the idea of a series of etchings devoted to the city he loved. He dedicated these works to his revered idol Zeeman and between the years 1851 and 1854 appeared the Eaux-fortes sur Paris, the series of works upon which the bulk of his fame now rests. Meryon lived a wretched livelihood with little or no means, few friends, and in suspicion of the whole world. Despite the staunch support of Felix Bracquemond and the admiration of such figures as Baudelaire, Gautier, and Victor Hugo, his condition became increasingly deplorable. Charles Meryon became evermore unsociable and mentally unstable. By the Spring of 1858 he worked only intermittently and began instead to dig up his garden to find the dead bodies he believed to be buried there. His condition bordered on delirium and he began to keep to his bed, flourishing a pistol whenever anyone entered. On 12 May 1858 he was removed to the asylum at Charenton St. Maurice, where he was described as suffering from "melancholy madness, complicated by delusion". After fifteen months he was discharged as cured, but remained never far from madness. On 14 February 1868, Charles Meryon died of starvation.

Charles MERYON (Parigi 1821 - S.Maurice 1868)

The illegitimate child of a travelling English physician and a dancer at the opera house, Charles only first assumed the surname of Meryon when he discovered the true circumstances of his birth upon joining the Naval School at Brest in 1837. The revelation of his illegitimacy produced a violent shock for the strangely impressionable young man, which cast over his life an ineffaceable tinge of melancholy and timidity. Whilst serving with the Navy, Charles Meryon sailed as far afield as Australasia and the South Seas, and he recorded his voyages in many sketches, aspects of which are included in his etchings of later years. It was during his time in the Navy that his nervous sensitivity appears to have developed, for Charles Meryon was morbidly conscious of the slightest slur and became increasingly suspicious of his friends - whilst away on Naval business his mother died of mental illness. Upon his return to France at the age of 25, with only a small inheritance, Charles Meryon resigned his naval post and determined to become a professional artist. Based in Paris he began painting lessons, however he suffered from Daltonism, a form of colour blindness in which one colour is mistaken for another and by 1850 his career as a painter had already effectively ended. It was as a graphic artist, and especially as an original etcher, that Charles Meryon was to excel. He studied at the studio of E. Blery, the engraver, copying portraits and engravings, but it was one master in particular, Renier Zeeman, who was to seize his imagination and transform him into an etcher. Rapidly Charles Meryon developed a brilliant dextrous ability with the etching needle and by 1849 he conceived the idea of a series of etchings devoted to the city he loved. He dedicated these works to his revered idol Zeeman and between the years 1851 and 1854 appeared the Eaux-fortes sur Paris, the series of works upon which the bulk of his fame now rests. Meryon lived a wretched livelihood with little or no means, few friends, and in suspicion of the whole world. Despite the staunch support of Felix Bracquemond and the admiration of such figures as Baudelaire, Gautier, and Victor Hugo, his condition became increasingly deplorable. Charles Meryon became evermore unsociable and mentally unstable. By the Spring of 1858 he worked only intermittently and began instead to dig up his garden to find the dead bodies he believed to be buried there. His condition bordered on delirium and he began to keep to his bed, flourishing a pistol whenever anyone entered. On 12 May 1858 he was removed to the asylum at Charenton St. Maurice, where he was described as suffering from "melancholy madness, complicated by delusion". After fifteen months he was discharged as cured, but remained never far from madness. On 14 February 1868, Charles Meryon died of starvation.