Birth Year : 1520|
Death Year : 1598
Country : France
Antoine Caron, master glassmaker and illustrator, was born in Beauvais, where he began his career with a group of religious paintings for three churches (all unfortunately destroyed at the time of the French Revolution), and with designs for stained-glass windows and other paintings for Angrand le Prince. Between 1540 and 1550 Caron worked at Fountainbleau Palace with Primaticcio. As a direct result of his excellent work he was chosen in 1561 to prepare the decorations for the royal arrival of Charles IX, an event that finally occurred in 1571. In 1575, with the sculptor Pilon, Caron prepared the festive decorations for the ceremonies attendant upon the election of the Duke of Anjou as King of Poland. They were "picture of paint", known now only by description. Promoted to the position of "juror" of the Master Painters of Paris in 1575 he became court painter for Henry III, a position he continued to hold under Henry IV.
Three pastel equestrian portraits of the royal family, now in the Musée de Chantilly attest to his work at court. Caron also executed a series of drawings for Catherine de'Medici for the Histoire d' Artemise, an allegory dedicated to the glory of Henry II. Many of these drawings were used as designs for tapestries by the Gobelins workshop. Caron also illustrated Ovid's "Metamorphoses", and his influence may be noted in the illustrations done in the workshop of Denis de Mathoniere for the "Book of Philostrate" in which eight engravings bear his name. Although a great many of Caron's paintings were lost, about a dozen were rediscovered in the twentieth century. These give ample proof of Caron's importance and talent as a painter. Caron's style, " the First School of Fountainbleau, International Mannerism", combines classical or historical subject matter with French miniaturist precision. It is a style of much grace, elegance of form, and rhythmic movement; a style which, although it derived from the elongated, decorative Italian Mannerists, is inherently French and led to the work of Vouet and Poussin.
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