(b Beauvais, 1521; d Paris, 1599).
French Mannerist painter. He is one of the few French painters of his time with a distinctive artistic personality, and his work reflects the refined but unstable atmosphere of the Valois court during the Wars of Religion (1562–98). He worked at Fontainebleau under Primaticcio in the 1540s and later became court painter to Catherine de Médicis, wife of Henry II of France. His few surviving works include historical and allegorical subjects in the manner of court ceremonies, scenes of magic and prediction, and massacres, as in Massacres under the Triumvirate (1566, Louvre, Paris), his only signed and dated painting. His style is characterized most obviously by extremely elongated, precious-looking figures set in open spaces that seem too large for them. He had a penchant for gaudy colours and bizarre architectural forms. Some of the works attributed to him may be by other hands, however, for French painting of his period is such an obscure area that Caron's name is liable to be attached to anything similar to his known œuvre.
Subjects: Art & Architecture