Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of King Louis XIV (1638-1715) 1643c.

 French School 

Portrait of King Louis XIV (1638-1715),  French School
Oil on canvas
17th Century
11 x 8 inches 29.8 x 22.8 cm
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Louis XIV succeeded to the French throne in 1643, just before his fifth birthday, and this portrait of the infant Louis is marked with the insignia of Kingship. He wears the cordon bleu of the Order of Saint Esprit and the ermine -lined robe of a King embroidered with gold fleur-de-lys. Until Cardinal Mazarin died in 1661 France was governed by Louis's mother, Anne of Austria and Mazarin, after which Louis concentrated power in his own hands, and devoted the next fifty four years of his life to creating the monolithic royal power that led critics to say of him ''l'etat c'est moi.''
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