The Fabrication of Louis XIV
Louis XIV was a man like any other, but the money and attention lavished on his public image by the French government transformed him into a godlike figure. In this engrossing book, an internationally respected historian gives an account of contemporary representations of Louis XIV and shows how the making of the royal image illuminates the relationship between art and power. Images of Louis XIV included hundreds of oil paintings and engravings, three-hundred-odd medals struck to commemorate the major events of the reign, sculptures, and bronzes, as well as plays, ballets (in which the king himself sometimes appeared on stage), operas, odes, sermons, official newspapers and histories, fireworks, fountains, and tapestries. Drawing on an analysis of these representations as well as on surviving documentary sources, Peter Burke shows the conscious attempt to "invent" the image of the king and reveals how the supervision of the royal image was entrusted to a commitee, the so-called small academy. This book is not only a fascinating chronological study of the mechanics of the image-making of a king over the course of a seventy-year reign but is also an investigation into the genre of cultural construction. Burke discusses the element of propaganda implicit in image-making, the manipulation of seventeenth-century media of communication (oral, visual, and textual) and their codes (literary and artistic), and the intended audience and its response. He concludes by comparing and contrasting Louis's public image with that of other rulers ranging from Augustus to contemporary American presidents.
Academie Franchise ambassador Antoine Antoine Coysevox Apollo artists and writers arts Augustus ballet Bernini Bibliotheque Nationale Boileau Bossuet British Library campaign celebrated century Charles Lebrun Charles Perrault Chateau de Versailles Claude Perrault Colbert commemorated contemporary Corneille court decorations described Dutch Edict of Nantes Emperor engraving example famous Felibien Figure French Galerie Gazette genre glory Grand Hercules historians image of Louis inscriptions Italian Jacquiot Jean Jesuit king's Klaits London Louis XIV Louvois Louvre magnificent Maintenon Mazarin medallic history memoirs Menestrier Mercure Galant modern monarch monuments Musee official oil on canvas painting palace pamphlets panegyric Paris peace petite academie Philip Photo RMN Place des Victoires poem poets political Portrait of Louis praise presented provinces Racine reference reign represented Revocation Richelieu Rigaud rituals Roman Rome rulers Saint-Simon Sculpture seventeenth seventeenth-century Spanish St Louis statue of Louis style tapestries theme tradition triumphal arches victories War of Devolution