Rare portrait of King Louis XV in royal costume, around 6-7 years old.
The child king is represented seated on a throne with armrests in the shape of sphinxes, and holds the hand of justice in his left hand and the fleur-de-lys scepter in his right hand.
His head is upright and solemn, his childish face is endowed with large cheeks and large hazel eyes with gentle but confident eyes. He wears a wig with curly brown hair, a holdover from the fashion under the Sun King.
A white lace tie is tied around her neck. He is dressed in a royal blue velvet coat embroidered with golden lilies and lined with ermine. The ermine mantle is placed on his shoulders and decorated with the collar of the order of the Holy Spirit with the medallion with the white dove in its center.
He wears white silk stockings held in place by garters and a red satin tunic that is rarely seen in portraits in royal costume, but found in the work of Jean Ranc where the king is 9 years old.
The figure wrapped in the royal mantle of the little monarch with the illuminated face stands out against a sober background.
Our work is part of a rare series of portraits of Louis XV executed before his coronation in 1722.
Indeed from its proclamation in September 1715, the Regent ordered the first portrait in Hyacinthe Rigaud of Louis XV in coronation habit. Obviously the monarch is not yet crowned and is only 5 years old, but this representation is necessary in order to mark people's minds that King Louis XV is indeed the future sovereign.
Official court painters and recognized academicians all took part in this "visual communication" to promote the image of the little king until his coronation in 1722, including Hyacinthe Rigaud, Jean Ranc, Alexis Belle and Pierre Gobert.
We can situate our portrait taking into account the very youthful air of the king in the years 1716-1717, as evidenced by his full cheeks with well rounded face, which seems to be refined on the portrait by J. Ranc at the age of 9 years. Also the wig of brown hair will no longer be used, because the young king will follow the fashion of abundantly powdered hair.
Oil on canvas, workshop of Pierre Gobert
Dimensions: h. 76 cm, l. 59 cm
Beautiful Louis XIV style frame in gilt and carved wood with laurel leaves
Framed: h. 95 cm, l. 78 cm
Pierre Gobert (Fontainebleau, 1662 - Paris, 1744)
Born into a family of artists, Pierre Gobert began working for the court at a very young age. As early as 1682, he was commissioned for the Portrait of the Duke of Burgundy, a few weeks old (lost), the first in a long list of children's portraits, a genre in which Gobert excelled the most. Accredited at the Royal Academy in 1686, Pierre Gobert did not concern himself with its reception, an exceptional fact, until fifteen years later. It is true that already overloaded with orders, his career as a portrait painter, notably in Munich for the Bavarian court, doubtless left him little time. From 1707, Gobert worked for the court of Lorraine where he had been called by Duke Léopold. During this stay he painted an impressive number of portraits which implied the existence of a studio. Back in Paris, he worked very regularly for the Court, producing portraits of most of the members of the royal family, of which the Palace of Versailles preserves the most interesting examples.