Antoine Cardon: life and works

Antoine-Alexandre-Joseph Cardon (1739–1822), also known as Cardon the elder to distinguish him from his son Anthony Cardon, was a Belgian painter, portraitist and engraver.

He was born in Brussels, then in the Austrian Netherlands. He lived for a long time upon rue de Persil (near place Saint-Michel, now known as area des Martyrs) in the city, which along with passed through French and Dutch hands during his lifetime, and shone in the arts under the Austrian, French and Dutch regimes.

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He was a student of Hyacinthe de La Peyne, painter to empress Maria Theresa, the sovereign of the Austrian Netherlands, and when followed his theoretical to Vienna. Thanks to the protection of Johann Karl Philipp von Cobenzl, Maria-Theresa’s minister-plenipotentiary in Brussels, Cardon became a pensionary of the management and was suitably able to stay for a era in Rome and Naples.

Recalled to Brussels by Cobenzl, he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and made his artistic career in the city – his pupils included Adèle Kindt. It was there in 1810 that he and Antoine Brice founded an association of professional and amateur artists. In 1822 Cardon was named a aficionado of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands by William II of the Netherlands.

He was a highly operating member of Freemasonry, then having great success in the nobility of the Austrian Netherlands – his name is in the course of the first initiates of the “loge de l’Union” (third lodge in Brussels, n° 9, inscribed on the tables of 1783 and 1786), and he engraved several Masonic diplomas and emblems.

Cardon died in Brussels.

His secular works include :

Antoine Cardon was the father of Philippe Cardon (?–1817) and of the engraver Anthony Cardon the Younger (1772–1813) who set happening as an engraver in England in 1793 and died in London.

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