Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Charles Meryon’s etching, “La rue des Mauvais Garçons, Paris”, 1854

Charles Meryon (aka Charles Méryon) (1821–1868)

La rue des Mauvais Garçons, Paris” (aka “The Street of the Bad Boys”), 1854, plate 10 from the series “Eaux-Fortes sur Paris”, signed in the plate with the artist’s initials/monogram (“C.M.” reversed) at lower left and with the lines of verse inscribed by the artist at top: (Google Translation) “What mortal lived/ In this dark lodging/ Who was hiding there/ In the night and in the shadows/ Ah! Well, I don't know/ If you want to know/ Curious, go and see/ There's still time”. Although this is a superb impression, I believe it may be from a later edition as the ink is black rather than brown (but I could be wrong about this).

Etching with plate tone on Japanese paper with small margins, backed with a support sheet providing wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 16.8 x 12.6 cm; (plate) 14.6 x 10.7 cm; (uneven image borderline) 12.6/12.9 x 9.8 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (along upper edge in 16 lines of French verse in three columns) “Quel mortal habitait/ En ce gîte si sombre/ Qui donc lá se cachait/ Dans la nuit et dans l'ombre/ Ah! ma foi je l'ignore/ Si tu veux le savoir/ Curieux, vas y voir/ Il en est temps encore”; (lower left) “C.M. [reversed]”.

State iii (of iii) with the addition of the lines of verse.

Delteil & Wright 10 iii (Loys Delteil & Harold J.L. Wright 1989, “Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings of Charles Meryon”, San Francisco, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, n.p., cat. no. 27).

Dodgson 10 (Campbell Dodgson, 1921, “The Etchings of Charles Meryon”, London, "The Studio" Ltd., n.p., plate/cat. no. 10 [see]).

Interestingly, Dodgson (1921) proposes that this print may be viewed by “modern observers” as “one of the most powerful and impressive” of the artist’s etchings in the series, “Eaux-Fortes sur Paris", and proposes that it is “fraught with mystery, enigmatic, suggestive of long past tragedies” (p.14).

See also the descriptions of this print offered by the British Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum:;

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression with small margins around the platemark. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains and is laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing generously wide margins.

I am selling this marvellously moody etching acknowledged as one of the artist’s most intriguing and hinting at the dreadful mental turmoil that the artist endured, for AU$294 (currently US$196.51/EUR177.80/GBP156.52 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in this etching of a street known for its “bad boys” (aka Rue Chartron [before 1540])—possibly “because there were many butchers along this street known for their liberal ways with a knife” (see—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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