Oct 28, 2008

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris

c. 1881

Luc-Olivier Merson

(French, 1846–1920)

Pen and black ink, brush and gray wash, black and white gouache, and graphite

Support: Light brown wove paper (a multi-ply board)

Sheet: 32.6 x 21.7 cm (12 13/16 x 8 9/16 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.359


Did you know?

After creating this drawing, Luc-Olivier Merson went on to illustrate an important 1889 edition of Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the major projects of his career.


Victor Hugo's celebrated 1831 novel Notre-Dame de Paris tells the story of Quasimodo, a disfigured orphan raised by the archdeacon of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Hugo's novel became an important influence on many artists and helped to define a poetic view of the medieval period and of Gothic architecture that lasted well into the second half of the century. This drawing by Luc-Olivier Merson was reproduced as a wood engraving in an illustrated tribute to Hugo published in 1881.

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