A Concise History of French Painting by Edward Lucie-Smith

By Edward Lucie-Smith

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1520-c. 1600), whose works sums up the atmosphere of the Court of Catherine de Medicis, Henri H's widow, as Rosso's does that of the Court of Francois I. Caron is first mentioned in the royal accounts in 1540. He becomes more prominent after 1 559, just at the time when the Wars of Religion were beginning. Caron was a sympathizer with the Catholic faction, and a remarkable painting of the Massacres under the Triumvirate (1 566) gives us his reaction to the troubles which were shaking France. It is a strangely heartless work of art.

The most generally accepted theory is that he moved from descriptive naturalism towards a greater and greater degree of simplicity. The Penitence of St Jerome, which exists in greatest provincial of disciple in France, 57 49 50 Georges de la tour Nativity two 31 shows a degree of naturalistic detail which is still present ofJob Taunted by his Wife; but this painting is largely resolved into bold planes of glowing colour and clear-cut, sweeping outlines. The source of light, and also of shadow, is the candle which the woman carries a device which is typical of Caravaggio's Dutch followers, who liked to provide a common-sense explanation for the violent chiaroscuro they preferred.

Perugino, in particular, is one of Bourdichon's sources, and there is a miniature of St Sebastian where the pose is copied directly from a design which Perugino had been also tend to using some ten years earlier. Since Bourdichon's sources are large-scale works, sculptures and paintings, rather than other illuminations, his miniatures tend to look like The exception is to be found of flowers and insects, which are the book. These have a stereoscopic vividness. The reproductions of bigger originals.

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