Visiting places depicted in the works in the Gallery's collection can be very rewarding, but on this occasion the reality thoroughly undid the artist's efforts.
Charles Meryon's shadowy etching Rue des mauvais garçons with its ragged residents and bleak lines of poetry above is sombre and dramatic.
Charles Meryon La Rue Des Mauvais Garçons. Etching. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, purchased 1971
The 2013 reality, on the other hand, is all brightness and efficiency and Parisian charm. Ah well you can't win 'em all!