May 3, 2023
Feb 17, 2006
May 3, 2023

The Mortuary, Paris

Etchings of Paris

The Mortuary, Paris


Charles Meryon

(French, 1821–1868)

Etching and drypoint on cream laid paper

Support: Cream laid paper

Sheet: 28.8 x 24 cm (11 5/16 x 9 7/16 in.); Image: 21.2 x 18.9 cm (8 3/8 x 7 7/16 in.); Plate: 23 x 20.6 cm (9 1/16 x 8 1/8 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1937.633

Catalogue raisonné: Delteil & Wright 36

State: IV/VII



Charles Meryon used etching—a technique that involves drawing on a printing plate with a needle’s point—to create minutely detailed images of Paris that imaginatively present recognizable sites. This print features bateaux-lavoirs (wash boats) on the Seine River, where laundresses could purchase a spot to do their washing. The boats appealed to Meryon, who was fascinated by Paris’s gradual transformation. Since they attracted crowds of working-class women, administrators considered the boats unsightly and unhygienic, repeatedly pushing them closer to the city’s outskirts until few remained by the end of the 1800s.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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