Charles Meryon (1821-1868)
Etching from Eaux-Fortes sur Paris, 248 x 130 mm., Delteil/Wright 30 viii/viii, Schneiderman 25 viii/viii. A fine impression of the final state, printed in 1861 in an edition of 30, on Hudelist laid paper with full, large margins, and inscribed "Bon a tirer - trente epreuves" and signed in pencil by Meryon; a soft horizontal crease across the center, a sharper crease near the bottom of the sheet (far from the image), two small thin spots and minor edge tears. Pencil signed prints by Meryon are of the utmost rarity. At the time of etching this plate, Meryon lived only a block away from the scene. The image actually comprises three different buildings and three different styles of architectures: at the left is the Medieval and no-longer-extant Collège de Montaigu, at the center the Renaissance church and at the right a bit of the Neoclassical Panthéon. But, though accurate in details, the view reflects Meryon’s imagination and not reality. Even in the nineteenth century no observer could have seen what Meryon saw, for the three buildings were never that close together.