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La Pompe Notre Dame

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Charles Meryon
French (1821 - 1868) Primary

La Pompe Notre Dame


6.625 x 9.25 in. (16.828 x 23.495 cm)
Bequest of M. Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1894-1922

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 1935.9
Deanery.230 (Deanery Number)
Europe, France
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."

In this etching, a view of the Notre Dame pumphouse seen from the level of the river Seine, Meryon depicts the architecture of Paris with characteristic clarity and imagination. It 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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