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Charles Meryon. 1821-1868.

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La Morgue (the Mortuary, Paris). 1854. Etching. Delteil-Wright 36.iv/vii; Schneidermann 42.iv/vii. 9 x 8 1/8 inches (sheet 10 3/8 x 8 15/16). The inscriptions added in cursive: 'C. Meryon del. sculp.mdcccliv' lower left and 'Imp. Rue nueve St. Etienne-su-Mont. No 26' lower right. A striking impression printed in black-brown ink on fine cream laid paper . Meryon printed this plate himself, carefully wiping the plate so as to give a luminous glow to the central part of the image. Ex-collection John W. Wilson (Lugt 2581). Signed and titled in the plate. $9,000.

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La Morgue (The Mortuary, Paris). 1865. Etching. Delteil-Wright vi/vii; Schneiderman 42.vi/vii. 6 5/8 x 5 3/4 (sheet 17 7/8 x 142 3/16). The inscriptions of state iv removed and new inscriptions added in block letters: 'LA MORGUE./1850./A DELATRE IMP R St JACQUES 265' lower center; and 'SABRA./DENTISTE/DU/PEUPLE.' on the house to the right; and 'HOTEL DES TROIS BALANCES MUEBLE.' on one to the left; and the monogram, upper left. Series: Eaux-Fortes sur Paris. A rich impression printed on 'HUDELIST' laid paper. Provanance: C.W. Dowdeswell (Lugt 690). $5,000.

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The Morgue is considered to be Meryon’s magnum opus, and a 19th Century printmaking icon. Meryon’s etched Paris architectural landmarksthat were likely to be demolished or moved. The morgue, formerly an abbatoir, built in 1568, was located in the Île de la Cité, the epicenter of Paris. Subsequently the building was moved. The composition has a contrasts the emotions of the impersonal crowd with the pathos of the mourners. Life and death are mirrored in the light and shadow.

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Continental Fine Prints.

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