Louis XIV is represented in a three-quarter bust, he is dressed in a red cape over his golden armor, a nod to the sun god Apollo.
He sports abundant natural curly hair and wears a thin mustache that helps us date our portrait to the 1670s.
During this period, the young king is on the rise because he has recently been ruling alone, going from the puny child to the absolute monarch.
His piercing and ambitious gaze announces the beginning of the greatest reign in the history of France .....
Oil on canvas, very good condition.
Original oval frame in gilded oak wood. (re-gilded).
French work from the Louis XIV period by Pierre Mignard for the face, and his workshop for the hairstyle, armor and backgrounds.
Canvas: Height: 72 cm; Width: 57 cm
Frame: Height: 93 cm; Width: 77 cm
The portraits of young Louis XIV are quite rare unlike the many reissues of the official model of Hyacinthe Rigaud dating from the end of the reign of the great king.
Yet it is in his youth that the legend of the Sun King is forged, handsome and good dancer, but also warrior king, hunter, builder, visionary, patron…. He is everywhere and manages everything… France becomes the center of world and France…. it's him !
Three hundred after his death it remains omnipresent….
The painting dates from the period of Pierre Mignard's return to Paris in the years 1660-1670, it can be compared to the equestrian painting "Louis XIV crowned by victory before Maastricht" by Pierre Mignard kept at the Salon de l'Oeil de Boeuf in The Palace of Versailles.
Pierre Mignard (1612-1695) is a 17th century French classical painter, best known for his portraits of the royal family.
Admired in the 17th century, considered as a model in the 18th century, he will be forgotten or denigrated in the history of art from the 19th century to finally become in the 20th century one of the references of French painting.
Like his older brother Nicolas, Pierre Mignard decides to be a painter. From 1624, he had Jean Boucher as his master, then he studied the sets of Fontainebleau, before entering the studio of Simon Vouet who would be his master and friend.
In 1635, like many artists, Mignard left for Rome, and spent 22 years in Italy. He had the opportunity to work in 1643 with Nicolas Poussin. During these years, Mignard studied Italian artists, and acquired a celebrity with his portraits and his religious paintings, in particular his gracious Madonnas, called “mignardes”.
At 19, Louis XIV, who liked to surround himself with talented people, recalled Mignard to Paris in 1657. He was immediately accepted at court where he would become one of the king's painters.
He received orders for châteaux such as Saint Cloud, Versailles, the Hôtel des Invalides and for Parisian Hotels. This important part of his activity has disappeared, and is known only through studies or engravings. Only Anne of Austria's commission for the dome of the Val de Grace in 1663 is still visible with a composition of more than 200 characters.
Mignard opposes the authority of the first painter Charles Le Brun. It was only after the latter's death in 1690 that Mignard obtained the functions of his rival at the age of 78. The majority of his works that have come down to us date from this period, in particular the religious, mythological and allegorical scenes as well as numerous drawings by his hand kept in the Louvre museum. This set of drawings shows his continual research into composition, the attitudes of horse figures and his fascination with certain details such as hands, feet and draperies.