The Sun King

history

Painted in 1701 by Hyacinthe Rigaud, the oil painting above portrays the Sun King, otherwise known as Louis 14. Above all, Rigaud’s image of the Sun King was intended to show absolute power achieved through the glorification of the monarchy. The portrait contains several of the coronation and kingly objects portraying the richness of the king. For example, some kingly objects include; the scepter, the crown, the royal sword, and the robes of coronation. At the same time the casual treatment of these objects portrays the innateness of his authority. For example, he used the scepter as a walking stick which rests on a cushion that also contains the crown. Furthermore, the artist paints the Sun King in a way as to show his sharp legs which are a reference to Louis 14’s dancing skills.

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