Antoine Caron

Dates1521 - 1599
RolesArtist, Designer
BornBeauvais, France
DiedParis, France

A painter and draftsman, Antoine Caron began to paint religious subjects and to make cartoons for stained glass windows while only a teenager. In an artistic culture dominated by Italian painters, Caron was one of a small number of native painters working in France during the late 1500s and early 1600s.

By the age of twenty, Caron was painting decorative scenes alongside Italian painters at the château of Fontainebleau for the king of France. Adopting the Mannerist style of Fontainebleau, he used unnatural color and exaggerated poses for figures; his similarly farfetched subjects included allegories of the French court, violent massacres, and fantasy and magic. Caron's contemporaries admired his drawings, and numerous printmakers reproduced them during his lifetime. He was even commissioned to make a series of paintings glorifying the widowhood of Queen Catherine de' Medici; the drawings were later used as tapestry designs. During his lengthy career, Caron also designed the decorations for many French court festivals and marriage ceremonies.