Etching and engraving
Support: Green paper
Sheet: 36.7 x 26.9 cm (14 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.); Platemark: 26 x 18.7 cm (10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.)
The Milton Curtiss Rose Collection in memory of Evelyn Curtiss Rose 1954.881
Catalogue raisonné: Delteil & Wright 24; Schneiderman 21
State: III/VII Schneiderman, state IV/IX
Although Meryon made the first study for this scene with a camera lucida (an apparatus containing a prism or an arrangement of mirrors that reflects the image on a surface so that its outlines may be traced), the artist then made changes to improve the composition—extending the height of the towers of Notre-Dame, for instance. Meryon did not mean his plates to have the precision of a photograph. Rather, he combined two views—a sketch from a low point at the water's edge and a view from the parapet—which, although not totally accurate, are believable. Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) reported in a letter that he discussed this print with the artist who claimed "that the shadow cast by a portion of the stonework on the side wall of the Pont Neuf looked exactly like the profile of a sphinx; that this was entirely coincidence on his part and only later did he take note of this peculiarity."
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.