The Chimera of Amiens. 1910. Drypoint. Rinder 415.vii. 9 9/16 x 7 3/16 (sheet 11 1/4 x 7 3/4). An extremely rich impression printed on cream wove paper. Illustrated: Guichard, British Etchers, 1850-1940; Lumsden, The Art of Etching; Salaman, Modern Masters of Etching: D.Y. Cameron; Hind, The Etchings of D.Y. Cameron; Calloway, English Prints for the Collector, p. 179. Collector's seal verso: E.M. Henn (Lugt 872b), who also collected Whistler etchings. Signed in pencil. The chimera sits on the neighboring buttress on Amiens Cathedral in Cameron's drypoint, The Wingless Chimera Rinder 416. $1,000.
This memorable work was certainly inspired by Meryon's "Le Stryge" from 1853. Cameron visited France in 1910 following a trip to Egypt. A chimera is a fire breathing monster of Greek mythology and a combination of various parts of different animals.
Following a trip to Egypt in 1908-09, Cameron visited France. Amiens is the principal city and ancient capital of Picardy, and its Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame is especially noted for the fine array of sculptures on the main facade and in the south transept. This print shows the chimera on one of the buttresses of the Cathedral. Chimera are gargoyles that are formed from parts of different animals. They were traditionally placed on the upper levels of buildings to serve as rainwater spouts, but were also believed to guard the building from evil spirits. This print was undoubtedly inspired by Charles Meryon's etching of 1853, which shows the chimera Le Stryge on the parapet of Notre-Dame in Paris.
Other impressions are in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland, the United States, and Australia, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
British Fine Prints.
Allinson Gallery Index.
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