French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture
French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture
French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture

French Gilt-Bronze Louis XIV Equestrian Sculpture

  • This extraordinary equestrian sculpture depicts the legendary French King Louis XIV
  • Clad in the robes of an ancient Roman general, the Sun King embodies the power of his station
  • It is modeled after the famed monument by François Girardon that once stood in the Place Vendome
  • A stunning work in gilt-bronze, the piece represents one of the greatest works of Louis XIV's reign
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Item No. 30-6348
Price: Available upon request
description
specifications
description
Louis XIV, one of France's greatest monarchs, sits confidently astride a prancing steed in this gilt-bronze equestrian sculpture. The work is based on the legendary equestrian portrait of the Sun King by François Girardon, one of the most noted and influential sculptors of his age. Standing over 55 feet high on its pedestal, the original sculpture was erected in the Place Louis-le-Grand (later renamed the Place Vêndome) in 1699. Regarded as a symbol of the monarchy, the monumental piece was later destroyed during the French Revolution in 1792, when it was melted down in order to make cannons. Only a single hoof remained, which is now preserved in the Musée du Louvre (Paris). A small bronze model finished by Girardon himself has also remained intact. Of similar proportion to the present piece, it is also found in the collection of the Louvre.

The archetype of royal absolutism, the 72-year reign of Louis XIV was the longest in European history. Not only did he significantly enhance the power of the monarchy, but Louis XIV also catapulted France to the position of the most powerful nation in Europe. He built the celebrated Château de Versailles during his reign to reflect the grandeur of the monarchy and his court, which he ruled under the belief, "One King, One Law, One Faith." Portrayed here as a conquering Roman hero, Louis XIV dons the cloak of a Roman commander adorned solely by the fleur-de-lis. Imposing in its classical grandeur, this effigy needs no royal regalia to express the King's unquestionable sovereign authority.

Similar reductions of this celebrated work can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Yale University Art Gallery (Connecticut), and the British Royal Collection (London).

Mid-19th Century
On a verde antico base, stamped "J.A. Boeuf & Rouard / Fondeurs a Paris"
Base stamped "Girardon"

32" high x 12 1/2" wide x 18 3/4" deep
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Material:Bronze
Width:12 1/2 Inches
Height:32 Inches
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