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La Tour de l'Horloge

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Image of La Tour de l'Horloge

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Charles Meryon
French (1821 - 1868) Primary

La Tour de l'Horloge


10 1/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (25.72 cm x 18.73 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 1963.2
Deanery.223 (Deanery Number)
Geography: Europe, France
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Prints; Etchings
Culture/Nationality: French
Collection: Deanery Collection
Charles Meryon (1821-1868) was born in Paris, the son of a travelling English physician and a dancer at a Parisian opera house. After spending a few years in the French navy, he returned to Paris and began painting lessons. Meryon was born color-blind, however, a condition which disrupted his painting career and led him to study etching at the studio of Alexandre Bléry.

Meryon also suffered from mental illness throughout his life. His familiarity with poverty and melancholy shaped his artistic vision, and over the course of four years (1850-1854) he produced a series of twenty-two haunting and imaginative views of the streets, buildings, and bridges of Paris called "Eaux-fortes sur Paris."

This print depicting the clock tower of the Palais de Justice (Courthouse) is a composite of two separate perspectives, which Meryon combined to produce a view that he found more aesthetically satisfying than any one “true” perspective of the building. The etching hung in the Blue Room of the Deanery along with other prints from the same series and etchings of the American artist, James McNeill Whistler.

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