Antoine Caron (vers 1521-1599)
The Coronation of Henri III in Reims, c. 1562-1572
black chalk, brown wash, heightened in white - 35.8 x 50.5 cm
Reims, Musée Le Vergeur
Photo : Christie’s
17/3/14 - Acquisition - Reims, Musée Le Vergeur - A drawing by Antoine Caron illustrating the coronation of Henri III at the cathedral in Reims was sold for $25,000, at the Christie’s auction in New York on 30 January 2014 to the Musée Le Vergeur in Reims, the highest bidder.
The apothecary Nicolas Houël commissioned two sets of drawings from the artist, most of which reside at the Louvre and the Bibliothèque nationale : the first, from around 1562, illustrates the Story of Queen Artemisia, written by Houël in homage to Catherine de Medicis ; Caron’s drawings later inspired the famous tapestry series of Artemisia. The second ensemble, which includes the sheet acquired by the Musée Le Vergeur, recounts French history of our time, a text praising the Valois family, from François I to Charles IX, also written by the apothecary for which he requested, between 1562 and 1572, illustrations "in the form of cartoons in black and white paint done by the excellent painters of France and Italy." Here again, the sheets are probably connected to the Valois tapestries woven sometime afterwards, around 1582-1585 (Florence, Uffizi).
In 1583, Nicolas Houël also commissioned a series of eleven drawings, but from an unknown artist, intended for Henri III, Louise de Lorraine and Catherine de Medicis, illustrating the procession in the Maison de la Charité chrétiennee - an institution founded by Houël in 1578 - for the royal family (held at the BnF).
The drawing by Antoine Caron will be presented to the public next June.