black/ brown ink; plate tone in margin

The Morgue, 1854



Bequest of Mrs. Charles S. Pillsbury, 1958expand_more  P.12,758

Not on Viewexpand_more

The Paris morgue was built in 1568 and stood on the south side of the Ile de la Cité along the small arm of the Seine. It was here that bodies of unknown persons who had drown or met with accidental death in the streets were laid on sloping marble tablets and displayed for three days. Relatives could come claim the bodies of their loved ones, or if unclaimed, the bodies were sent to the medical school for dissection. However, family members were not the only ones who came to view the bodies and the morgue became an unlikely tourist attraction. Meryon captures the morbid curiosity of this site in this print. His scene includes a body being pulled from the river witnessed by both weeping relatives and curious onlookers.

The Morgue
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
LD 36 iv/vii; W. 20
Curator Approved

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black/ brown ink; plate tone in margin