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Antoine Caron: Drawing for Catherine de'Medici

Antoine Caron: Drawing for Catherine de'Medici


This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to Antoine Caron’s graphic work and explores the role the Regent and Queen Mother Catherine de’ Medici played in a key series of drawings, some reunited here for the first time. 


This catalogue accompanies an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, which is the first dedicated to the graphic oeuvre of Antoine Caron (1521–1599). Bringing together a core group of drawings centred around the figures and deeds of the French Royal family, the Valois, this display highlights the role played by Catherine de’ Medici (1519–1589). Featuring the Valois series, a set of drawings here reunited for the first time, the display showcases the way in which the powerful and influential Catherine promoted the success of her regency and future of her progeny by delivering a series of lavish courtly events that were meant to enhance the power and diplomacy of her family. 


The drawings represent jousts, tournaments, festivals and a mock naval battle, events that occurred at the French court during the reigns of Catherine’s sons Charles IX and Henri III. Preparatory designs for a group of tapestries, these visual documents relate to actual events that were organised by the court, some of which took place at the French palace of Fontainebleau and at the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. Minutely designed, they thus allow a reconstruction of the visual testimony of those events, as they were documented in written contemporary sources. 


Antoine Caron: Drawing for Catherine de’ Medici is the latest in a series of books accompanying critically acclaimed Courtauld displays, which showcase aspects of the Gallery’s outstanding permanent collection. 


Dominique Cordellier is curator at the Louvre Museum; Frédéric Hueber is École pratique des Hautes Études, University of Geneva; Ketty Gottardo is curator at the Courtauld Gallery; Pauline Chougnet is curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France

  • By Dominique Cordellier, et al.

    By Dominique Cordellier, Frédéric Hueber, Ketty Gottardo and Pauline Chougnet


    18 January 2018 (March USA)

    Paperback, 210 x 210 mm

    80 pages, 40 colour illus. 

    ISBN: 978-1-911300-38-0

  • Exhibition

    The Courtauld Gallery, London

    18 January – 15 April 2018

  • In the press

    ★★★★"Caron’s charming drawings teem with incident and detail, as well as flashes of wit, hurling us headlong into the astonishing world of the Valois “Magnificences” – festivals, ceremonies and sporting events, as the catalogue informs us, organised by the last Valois kings of France. And if Caron’s visual record of these royal jamborees is even half grounded in fact, then, my goodness, their scope, ambition, and exorbitant cost must have beggared belief." —Telegraph


    "This fine catalogue ... highlights Caron's immense talent and illustrious patronage ... shows how small exhibitions on focused subjects and their publications elicit a wealth of new interest and research." –The Burlington 


    "Caron’s drawings ... take you to the heart of this ornate culture." —Guardian


    "For an insight into image-making and legacy-building—made all the more interesting by the fact their architect was a 16th-century matriarch—look no further." —Vanity Fair 


    "Showcases the way in which Catherine promoted herself and her dynasty through lavish courtly events." —Apollo 

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