black/ brown ink; plate tone in margin

The Morgue, 1854

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

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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.

Details
Title
The Morgue
Artist Life
1821-1868
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.12,758
Catalogue Raisonne
LD 36 iv/vii; W. 20
Curator Approved

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black/ brown ink; plate tone in margin