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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.

Mannerism here its upon is again mostly known to us as an the apparently frivolous tradition of forms to express passionate religious returns to its emo- beginnings: hypersensitive reli- gious feelings find a voice through exaggerated elegance and formal discontinuity. 40, 41 But Bellange is signed Annunciation diptych by gravings in mood, and shows past: the diptych this, is also documented him survives. This the is is very a en- to look towards the medieval format. In addition to who was an adaptation from Diirer, source of ideas for Bellange just and like the same tendency a characteristically the Virgin Annunciate as a painter, as a he was for Pontormo and the young Rosso.

From Rosso 's arrival must be dated the rise of the so-called school of Fontainebleau, which was to dominate decorative painting in France of the century. of the school of Fontainebleau abruptly swept away the remains of the medieval tradition. Art was no longer to be primarily religious. Instead, it was to be secular, and pagan allegories in large part replaced the sacred themes of the Master of Moulins and his predecessors. French art moved from the world of the Late Gothic to that of Mannerism, with no intervening phase of High Renaissance classicism.

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