Canon was born in Caen. He painted portraits in oil and landscapes as well as miniatures. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1831 and also showed in Lille and Douai. He died in Paris.
A paper fixed to the loose backing card, torn from an index in French, is inscribed in black ink in a later hand Baron Louis Ministre des Finances. A priest, a politician, and an expert on banking, Baron Joseph Dominique Louis served as minister of finance during the Restoration. In 1815 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'Honneur. On his retirement in 1832 he became a peer of France. If, as seems likely, the identification of the sitter is correct, then the miniature is posthumous.
Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard (2003) pointed out that another portrait by Canon of the same sitter (oval, 51 x 40 mm, signed and dated [twice] Canon 1829) was sold at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 20, 2001, no. 57.
[2016; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
Inscription: Signed and dated (right edge, in white): Canon.de.Caen pinx 1844.·.
Moses Lazarus, New York (until d. 1885); his daughters, Josephine and Sarah Lazarus, New York (1885–1888/95)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 200.
Leo R. Schidlof. The Miniature in Europe in the 16th, 17th, 18, and 19th Centuries. Graz, Austria, 1964, vol. 1, p. 125; vol. 3, pl. 104, fig. 193.
Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, p. 163, no. 200, ill., note that "if, as seems likely, the identification of the sitter is correct, then the miniature is posthumous".
Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. November 24, 2003, points out that there is another portrait by Canon of the same sitter, dated 1829 (sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 20, 2001, no. 57).