MERYON, Charles
(b. 1821, Paris, d. 1868, Charenton-le-Pont)


French printmaker. He was the illegitimate son of an Englishman, Dr. Charles Lewis Meryon, and Narcisse Chaspoux, a dancer at the Paris Opéra. He entered the French Navy in 1837. On a trip around the world he began sketching. Returning, he lived on a small inheritance and began to study painting, but a severe condition of colour-blindness drove him into colourless drawing and etching. He worked mainly on architectural subjects done in a severely romantic style. He is best known for his etchings of Paris 1850-54 that encompass straightforward topographical views along with romantic and disturbing fantasies.

He suffered mental illness, and died in the famous insane asylum at Charenton (in a suburb of Paris).

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