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A view of San Francisco

Title
San Francisco
Author
MERYON, Charles
Publisher
A. Delatre Imp. Rue Poissoniere 149,
Publication place
[Paris],
Publication date
1856.
Price
£6,000
Reference
12543
  • Description

    Engraving, sheet 335 by 1150 mm, image 182 by 950 mm.,

  • Notes

    A fine and exceptionally detailed view of San Francisco. The city was a point of interest in Europe after the gold rush of 1848, as people from within America and abroad rushed to California to seek their fortune. The population grew rapidly, forcing the city to expand haphazardly with narrow streets that survive to this day. The large title cartouche is supported by river gods who appear to be holding sieves, a reference to the activity making the city rich.

    Meryon, 1821-1868 was a French printmaker best known for etchings which romantically depicted the life and mood of mid-19th-century Paris. However, amongst Méryon's earliest works are beautiful drawings of the New Zealand coast that created while serving with the French navy.

    Méryon is clearly a master of etching, often striking in his originality and modernity, sadly and typically he was appreciated by only a few of his contemporary artists and critics. His prints sold for almost nothing. His life was one of great disappointments and terrible hardships; he became subject to hallucinations, and, shortly after the completion of his famous Paris series, he was committed to the Charenton asylum at Saint-Maurice