Paul Holberton

  •  This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to Antoine Caron's graphic work and explores the role the Queen Mother Regent Catherine de' Medici played in a key series of drawings, some reunited here for the first time.
    This catalogue accompanies an exhibition to be held at The Courtauld Gallery, which will be 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 will highlight the role played by the Regent Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589). Featuring the Valois series, a set of drawings here reunited for the first time, the display will showcase 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 in this display represent jousts, tournaments, festivals and a 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 at the French castles of Anet, Fontainebleau, Bayonne and the Tuileries Gardens.
    Minutely designed, they will thus allow to reconstruct the visual testimony of those events, as they were documented in written contemporary sources.