portrait of louis xiv

~Portrait of Louis XIV.
Artist/Maker: After Hyacinthe Rigaud (French, 1659 - 1743)
Culture: French
Date: 1659 - 1743
Medium: Oil on canvas

Louis XIV's court adored Hyacinthe Rigaud, who helped to formulate what a state portrait should be. While Rigaud made a credible likeness of the king, his purpose was not to express Louis’s character but to glorify the monarchy. His original Portrait of Louis XIV of 1701, now in the Louvre, was so popular that Rigaud had many copies made, both in full and half-length formats, often with the help of assistants. 

In this portrait from Rigaud’s workshop, Louis XIV’s ceremonial robes, elegant stance, and haughty expression proclaim his exalted status. Despite the vast expanses of canvas he covered, Rigaud remained concerned with the particular, describing the king’s costume in great detail, even down to his shoe buckles.

Males in “Versailles”, parallels: paintings - tv series

  1. Louis XIV portant la moustache « à la royale » portrait en 1670 par Claude Lefèbvre.
  2. Philippe I, Duc d’Orléans (1640-1701) portrait  en 1660 environ par Antoine Mathieu.
  3. Philippe de Lorraine,  dit le Chevalier de Lorraine (1643-1702) portrait par artiste inconnu.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, 1701, oil on canvas, 289.6 x 159.1 cm, Getty Centre, LA. Source

King Louis XIV of France was in his early sixties when this portrait was painted. At the time, tensions between France and England were extremely high, and in 1702, the War of the Spanish Succession was declared.


So I saw the Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer, and naturally I flailed and screamed because it was AWESOME.

But then the above shot caught my eye, and I KNEW the portraits were familiar. I have to give Disney kudos for combining portraits of famous French royals to make it more authentic, since it IS set in France. Of course I can’t be 100% positive that these are the exact ones, and they have been changed a wee bit, but looking at them I think I have them right!

On the far right is a 1748 portrait of Marie Leszczyńska by Charles-Andre Van Loo.

On the far left is a 1701 portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud.

In the middle is a 1715 portrait of Louis XV by Hyacinthe Rigaud.