Rather short and meteoric was the career of Carl Merlin. He was born Carl Prior Merlin to an English Family in 1850 in Athens, Greece. His surname is known in Greece from 'merlin' oranges (a variety that his brother introduced in Corfu), as well as from Merlin Street in Kolonaki, Athens, which commemorates the location of Villa Donai (built by Anastassios Metaxas), where his house and studio used to be (today housing the French Embassy). Merlin was the offspring of a wealthy banker, merchant, and landowner, residing in Greece, English in origin of French descent relating to Robespierre. He engaged with photography for only eight years (he died at the age of forty-eight), but during this period he proved great skills in lighting and portrait composition. In this short timespan (1890-1898), his success led him to open a second studio at the intersection of Hermou and Nikis Street, near Syntagma Square, of which the German Carl Böhringer was appointed director, and succeeded him following Merlin's death in 1898.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2006]
XANTHAKIS, ALKIS X. Carl Merlin: The Patrician Photographer 2003 Photographer #117, Athens [Greek]
XANTHAKIS, ALKIS X. History of Greek Photography 1839-1970 2008 Papyros Publishing Company, Athens, p.171-173 [Greek]