The Wingless Chimera. 1911. Drypoint. Rinder 416.viii. 7 19/32 x 9 13/32. A rich impression with drypoint burr and plate tone printed on Japanese mulberry paper. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1911. Signed in pencil. The chimera sits on the neighboring buttress on Amiens Cathedral in Cameron's drypoint, The Chimera of Amiens Rinder 415. $1,250.
Following a trip to Egypt in 1908-09, Cameron visited France. Amiens is the principal city and ancient capital of Picardy, and its Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame is especially noted for the fine array of sculptures on the main façade and in the south transept. This print shows the chimera on one of the buttresses of the Cathedral. Chimera are gargoyles that are formed from parts of different animals. They were traditionally placed on the upper levels of buildings to serve as rainwater spouts, but were also believed to guard the building from evil spirits. This print was undoubtedly inspired by Cameron’s friend ,Charles Meryon’s ,etching of 1853, which shows the chimera ‘Le Stryge’ on the parapet of Notre-Dame in Paris. This etching can be regarded as a fitting tribute to the French etcher, Charles Meryon.
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