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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Charles Meryon
French, 1821–1868

New Bridge (Le Pont Neuf ), Paris, from Etchings on Paris (Eaux-fortes sur Paris)

Etching, 1853
Museum purchase, 1919.48

Despite its name, “The New Bridge” is the oldest bridge in Paris, dating back to 1578, but remodeled in 1843–53. It connects the right bank with the Île de la Cité, where the Cathedral of Nôtre-Dame is located. Here one sees the last three piers and arches of the bridge, with semi-circular boutiques at the street level.

The verse at the bottom translates as:
Here lies the ancient Pont-Neuf
An exact likeness,
All newly restored
According to recent ordinance.
O learned physicians,
skilled surgeons,
Why do you not restore us
Like the old stone bridge?