May 3, 2023
Feb 15, 2006
May 3, 2023

Petit Pont, Paris

Etchings of Paris

Petit Pont, Paris


Charles Meryon

(French, 1821–1868)

Etching with engraving on Japanese paper


Sheet: 26.4 x 19.6 cm (10 3/8 x 7 11/16 in.); Image: 24.6 x 18.8 cm (9 11/16 x 7 3/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1953.10

Catalogue raisonné: Delteil & Wright 24

State: I/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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