Charles Meryon, 1858

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On May 11, 1858, Meryon's friend and supporter Léopold Flameng drew this image of his friend sitting up in bed, staring into space. The following moring Meryon was taken by police to the asylum at Charenton, where he was described as "suffering from melancholy madness, complicated by delusion." While in the asylum, the first reviews of his work were published by Charles Baudelaire of prints exhibited in the Salon of 1859. Meryon spent over a year at the asylum, and upon his release he returned to etching. Although he was encouraged by Charles Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, and other critics, his affairs deteriorated. His fragile mental state once again reached a breaking point and on October 12, 1866, he was taken to Charenton for the last time. He died there in February of 1868 of exhaustion and starvation, "believing himself to be Christ held captive by the Pharisees, and being unwilling to wrong the feeble and outcast by taking their food."

Charles Meryon
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ber. 369
Curator Approved

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