Charles Meryon (French, 1821–1868), Le Pont au Change, from Eaux-Fortes sur Paris ( Etchings of Paris ), 1854. Etching with additions in graphite; seventh state; Sheet: 7 3/16 x 14 1/16 in. (18.2 x 35.7 cm) Plate: 6 1/8 x 13 1/16 in. (15.6 x 33.2 cm). Bequest of Susan Dwight Bliss, 1966. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67.630.9 © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This unique impression of one of Meryon's iconic prints of Paris, worked extensively with an enigmatic penciled vignette in the sky, was dedicated to Philippe Burty, the great critic and collector who purchased the print from the artist. From state to state, Meryon wrought enormous changes to the sky, with additions such as hot-air balloons and menacing flocks of birds. Here, he drew anthropomorphic clouds shaped like reclining women with a figure in a chariot racing away from an enormous serpent or dragon. Meryon is said to have declared that the figure hurling himself into space "represented the fate of every over-ambitious mortal." 

This work is exhibited in the "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible" exhibition, on view through September 4th, 2016. #MetBreuer