Meryon, Charles (shärl mĕryôNˈ) [key], 1821–68, French etcher. His short life was saddened by poverty and neglect and complicated by recurring forms of mental aberration. Prevented by color blindness from painting, he became an etcher and evolved an incomparable technique. Reflecting the romanticism of the period, he depicted architectural settings with great structural clarity, often inserting grotesque or enigmatic figures. His fame rests largely on his poetic series of 22 etchings of old sections of Paris, Eaux-Fortes sur Paris (1850–54). Meryon died insane at 47.
See studies by L. Delteil (1928) and C. Dodgson (1931).