La Galerie Notre Dame – 3rd State (of 6), on Green Paper


Charles Meryon (1821-1868) etching with engraving La Galerie Notre Dame, 1853. Schneiderman 29, Delteil 26. Schneiderman’s third state of six.  In good condition, with wide margins, the matrix in perfect condition, on a fine old green laid verdatre paper, 11 1/8 x 6 15/16, the sheet 15 x 10 inches. [with the signature, date, address in the plate lower margin]

A fine impression of this important Meryon work, printed in dark brown/black ink.

In this early state Meryon has yet to strengthen the top border line, but has added the inscriptions in cursive below the bottom borderline.  In the next state the borderline was  strengthend, and in the fifth state he added 7 crows within the area between the columns above the bell tower in the middle distance, and strengthened the tiny bell tower itself.

This view is taken within the inside of the Notre Dame gallery; tiny segments of Paris can be seen in the distance. The towers of Notre Dame were of course a focus of fascination for Meryon (they sometimes appear in his prints in views where they should not be!); here Meryon gets close up to his prey.

Meryon printed impressions in this state personally.  He wiped the plate selectively, leaving little ink on the central pillar, and leaving the areas to the right of the composition relatively dark.

The crows in the foreground were probably in tribute to Poe’s the Raven, which was published at the time Meryon made La Galerie; Meryon was a Poe fan, and included crows in a few other prints made at that time (e.g., Le Stryge, Le Pont au Change).