Charles Meryon was one of France's great nineteenth century etchers. This fine impression shows an interrupted view of Paris, its towers are to be seen through the upper columns of Notre Dame. The elaborate Gothic stonework, with its play of light and dark, contrasts with the freedom of nature - the sky with fresh clouds, and distant flying crows. The larger birds coming in to rest in this confined corner add to the sense of unease. Meryon was praised and admired by writers such as Charles Baudelaire and Victor Hugo, author of 'Notre Dame de Paris', which included 'A bird's-eye view of Paris'. This etching was Hugo's favourite and one of Meryon's finest.
AGNSW Handbook, 1994
La galerie Notre-Dame
etching with engraving
28.2 x 17.6 cm platemark; 36.8 x 24.2 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Meryon, Bracquemond & the 19th Century etching Renaissance, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jun 1998–02 Aug 1998
Printmaking in the age of Romanticism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Aug 2009–25 Oct 2009
Referenced in 6 publications
Renée Free, AGNSW Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-1, Sydney, 1994, 130 (colour illus.).
Geoffrey Holme (Editor), The etchings of Charles Meryon, London, 1921, 2, 13, illus.. plate no. 9
Renée Porter, Meryon, Bracquemond & the 19th Century Etching Renaissance, Sydney, 1998.
Malcolm C Salaman, The Master: Charles Meryon, London, 1927, 4, illus.. plate no. 2
Richard Schneiderman, The catalogue raisonné of the prints of Charles Meryon, London, 1990, 63, 64 (illus.), 65 (illus.). cat.no. 29. Illustration on pg. 64 is the fourth state, illustration on pg. 65 is the sixth state.
Hugh Stokes (Editor), The master etchers: Charles Meryon, London, illus.. plate no. 16