In the early 20th century, American printmaker John Taylor Arms reinterpreted Meryon’s “vampire” as The Thinker, perhaps perceiving the creature as less a menace than daydreamer. Trained as an architect, Arms found inspiration in Meryon’s Etchings of Paris, praising it as “a monument unique in its sensitive, imaginative, and deeply spiritual expression of architectural form and meaning.” Throughout his career, Arms traveled throughout Europe documenting diverse and regionally distinctive architectural styles–especially enduring Gothic structures—with laborious precision.
Scroll between both artists’ prints and pinch to zoom–notice how Meryon and Arms lend texture to the porous, fossil-filled limestone figure with differing approaches to line and form. Survey the sweeping urban panorama for some exciting changes of scenery, too! #VMFA #artbreak #arteducation
John Taylor Arms (American, 1887-1953), The Thinker of Notre-Dame (Le Penseur de Notre-Dame), 1923, etching. Bequest of John Barton Payne, 35.1.175 (at VMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)