Etching on delicate Japan paper, 13 3/4" by 10 1/2" inside the mat (20" by 15 1/2" framed) signed in the plate at lower right by the important 19th century French etcher, CHARLES MERYON (1821-1868). There are modern-day notations on the framing paper: "....Casimir Le Comte after Gustave Boulanger, 2nd state, 1856, and "from Kennedy & Co." Meryon was born in Paris to an English physician father and French dancer mother. Early in life he traveled the Pacific's remote regions with the French navy, settling down in the 1850's for what proved to be a very short but very intense period of brilliance and technical mastery in the graphic arts. Meryon created a set of 22 images of Paris called "Eaux-fortes Sur Paris" that have come to be highly coveted by print collectors. This set, created between 1850 and 1854, represented the high point of his career. During his short life, Meryon was known and championed by important figures of the age, such as the Dr. Gachet painted by Van Gogh, Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Theophile Gautier, and fellow artists such as Felix Bracquemond, and Francis Seymour Haden. Shortly after creating this fine etching of a hero of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, Meryon slipped deep into mental illness, possibly brought about by a trying life where money was always scarce. Death came in his forties, but he left behind some of the finest etched work of the century; the Paris works are highly sought after in auctions. This print is very clean and otherwise in fine condition, though the very unusual and extremely delicate paper has come to be heavily rippled with time, as the photos show (and they tend to accentuate that condition, I believe).
CHARLES MERYON (1821-1868) original etching of Casimir Le Conte by the important 19th century French etcher