Le Styrge (The Vampire)


Charles Meryon (1821-1868), Le Styrge (The Vampire), etching, 1853. References: Schneiderman 27, fifth state (of 10); Delteil 23, fourth state (of 8). In very good condition, with full margins, printed on a blue/green laid paper, 6 5/8 x 5, the sheet 11 x 8 5/8 inches.


Knoedler, New York (with their stock number K 2341)

Colnaghi, London (with their stock number c 3114)

C. W. Dowdeswell (stamp verso, Lugt 690)

A fine rich impression, with plate tone. In the next state the inscription at the bottom is removed, the plate shows signs of wear and the printing is typically less rich, with little or no tone.  In this state the print was printed by the artist himself (cf. James D. Burke, Charles Meryon, Prints and Drawings, p. 33-9)

The Stryge is one of the stone gargoyles leaning on a parapet of the upper balcony of a tower of the Notre-Dame in Paris. In a letter to his father Meryon wrote: “This monster which I have represented does exist, and is in no way a figment of imagination. I thought I saw in this figure the personification of Luxuria; it is this thought which inspired me to compose the two verses at the bottom of the print…”  The verse, in translation: “Insatiable vampire,/Eternal Luxuria/ Coveting the Great City/ As its feeding place.”