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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Charles Meryon
French, 1821–1868

The Vampire (Le Stryge), from Etchings on Paris (Eaux-fortes sur Paris)

Etching, 1853
Museum Museum purchase, 1922.105

The gargoyle depicted here is part of the decoration of the north tower of the Cathedral of Nôtre-Dame. Though it appears to be a medieval sculpture, it was actually carved during the restoration of the building conducted by the architect Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th-century.
The artist Meryon said of the grotesque carving: “The monster is mine and that of the men who built this tower of St. Jacques [the tower seen in the background]. He means stupidity, cruelty, lust, hypocrisy—they have all met in one beast.”