Academic Sun King”) and was sometimes glorified in

Academic research was done on this painting take us backed to the methods used in royal status, and it shows to us the use of propaganda in 1701. “Louis XIV had ordered this portrait as a gift for his grandson, the future Phillip V of Spain, but when Rigaud finished the painting, Louis liked it too much to give it away and only three years later ordered a copy from Rigaud to give to his grandson. The request for copies of royal portraits was not unusual since the aristocratic families of Europe were linked through marriage. Paintings made appropriate gifts and at the same time memorialized important political alliances by recording them in visual form” (Stokstad 770).
This huge, full-length portrait shows the life-size of Louis XIV. With Louis as the focal point, standing in the middle of the canvas, his body was slightly tilted, and his face turned to reveal the king’s confidence to see the audience directly. Nothing was underestimated in the dress of Louis XIV and all the surrounding ornaments; Louis’s dignity is really decent. “An absolute monarch whose reign was the longest in European history, Louis XIV made the French court the envy of every ruler in Europe.He became known as “Le Roi Soleil” (“the Sun King”) and was sometimes glorified in art through identification with the classical sun god, Apollo. In a 1701 portrait by court painter Hyacinthe Rigaud, the richly costumed Louis XIV is framed by a lavish, billowing curtain. Proudly, showing off his elegant legs, the 63-year-old monarch poses in a blue robe of state, trimmed with gold fleurs-de-lis and lined with white ermine. He wears the high-heeled shoes he devised to compensate for his shortness. Despite his pompous pose and magnificent surroundings, the directness of the king’s gaze and the frankness of his aging face make him appear surprisingly human” (Stokstad 770-771).
Louis XIV is very particular about wearing, and his robes are very luxurious. Louis XIV’s robe, with his graceful gesture and arrogant expression, announced his lofty status to everyone. Although he covered a lot of canvas, he described the king’s clothing from top to bottom in detail, even his buckles and every detail. The material of the robes can also enhance the sacred image of the monarch. Louis’s hair is also very attractive. Louis’s hair plus his royal robe shows that this is still a young and strong king. But in the portrait, Louis’s facial muscles drooped and his double chin could not hide the fact that his real age. “He has a sword strapped to his right hip, his crown placed on a stool to his right, and he is holding the royal scepter. These three objects represent three different parts of his rule: the sword shows his military power, the crown and scepter show his power over the kingdom and France. Louis XIV is noticeably brighter than the rest of the painting” (Schmidt).
Hyacinthe Rigaud uses color such as red and blue, and also uses light and darkness to emphasize the luxury lifestyle of Louis XIV. Especially the red high heels in the portrait are very eye-catching. In the era of Louis XIV, “high heels were made for men and were especially popular at the court of Louis XIV who himself adored the style. He actually had a special type of high heels named after him (the Louis heel) which concave on the heel itself to create an elegant curve. And since Louis loved extravagance his heels were the best of the best. Often towering over five inches above the ground the heels themselves were often decorated with detailed battle scenes! The King made it clear to his court that he was to have the highest heels and no one could wear any as much as a millimeter taller than his” (Schmidt). Red high heels are very prominent in the paintings and are very attractive. They have also become the symbol of Louis XIV. Red represents the symbol of pride and prestige. However, for Louis XIV, the love of high-heeled shoes is not because of his height and shortness, but the noble symbol of his identity. “It is no coincidence that Louis is posed with his majestic robe draped over his shoulder to reveal his lower limbs: Louis had been a ballet dancer in his youth and prided himself on his dancer’s legs. The legs, while in contrast to his aged face, suggest a vital and vigorous man, still in the prime of his power” (Khan)
This painting fully demonstrates the abuse of the ruler’s rights. At the same time, this portrait shows that Louis XIV has abused his power, and luxury objects around Louis XIV have fully demonstrated this. Although the French economy is about to collapse and most of the population is in poverty, Louis XIV still hopes that Rigaud will draw an expensive portrait for himself. This means that Louis XIV is the center of France and the only leader and ruler. “Rigaud so successfully captured the power of Louis XIV that the image was placed over the throne and in the king’s absence, the painting served as his proxy and courtiers were forbidden to turn their backs on the painting” (Khan)

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