La Pompe Notre Dame

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), La Pompe Notre Dame, etching and drypoint, 1852. References: Schneiderman 26, seventh state (of 10); Wright 15,  sixth (of 9). In very good condition, with margins, 6 3/4 x 10, the sheet 7 5/8 x 10 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, printed in a dark brown ink on greenish laid verdatre paper; this state is prior to the edition printed for L’Artiste.

Provenance:  Ministère de l’Intérieur,  Paris, with its blindstamp lower right (cf. Lugt 1816d). Jules Niel (cf. Lugt 1944), librarian at the Ministry of the Interior was one of the first collectors of Meryon prints, and was instrumental in having the Ministry purchase sets of the Eaux-fortes sur Paris. These sets were printed on a greenish laid paper, and consisted of fine early impressions of the Paris prints.

Also: Colnaghi (with their stock number recto).

The Notre Dame pumphouse was built around 1670 and was slated for elimination by the mid-1850’s; Baron Haussmann’s plans called for finding alternative sources of water beyond the Seine. But it was not demolished until 1858, giving Meryon time to draw and etch it. The view is from water level, and tends to exaggerate the towers of Notre Dame a bit (Meryon favored their inclusion in many of his prints, and in this case they really could be seen from the vantage point of his drawing).