Sunday, July 21, 2013

Louis XIV

This is an oil on canvas painting of the king of France Louis XIV, by Hyacinthe Rigaud. (1701)  This is one of Rigaud’s most famous works because it accurately depicts Louis XIV as the king he sought to be.  King Louis XIV did not view himself (his body) as a strong powerful man who commanded leadership.  To overcome this he used his wealth to buy his way out of his insecurities.  He demanded the best clothing, home, and garden and did not react well to others shortcomings.   This painting shows the ideal example of Louis XIV’s need to be seen as a strong, powerful, and wealthy man.  He is not only wearing the most expensive clothing at the time but also has special high heel shoes and a tall wig to make himself taller.

Many other examples of Louis XIV’s need to be seen as a strong and powerful king are seen in and outside the palace that he had built in honor of himself.  The Hall of Mirrors begun in 1678 is a prime example of his assertion of wealth and power.

Mirrors at this time where considered a luxury of the wealthy because they were extremely expensive.  To have a mirror in your home was a symbol that you have made it in life so Louis XIV had an entire hall of them to walk through.

His garden was another show of wealth and power to his people.  It is told that as he walked through the guardian that every fountain was to always be running at full force.  Since there was not enough water pressure to accomplish this on such a large grounds the keeps used a communication system, unknown to the king, to bring them to full force as the king walked by.


The Fabrication of Luis XIV:

The age of Luis XIV: The Story of Civilization:

Other Sources:

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