Portrait of Louis XIV

Object Details


Portrait of Louis XIV


After Hyacinthe Rigaud (French, 1659 - 1743)




1659 - 1743


Oil on canvas


289.6 x 159.1 cm (114 x 62 5/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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Louis XIV's court adored Hyacinthe Rigaud, who helped to formulate what a state portrait should be. While Rigaud made a credible likeness of the king, his purpose was not to express Louis's character but to glorify the monarchy. His original Portrait of Louis XIV of 1701, now in the Louvre, was so popular that Rigaud had many copies made, both in full and half-length formats, often with the help of assistants.

In this portrait from Rigaud's workshop, Louis XIV's ceremonial robes, elegant stance, and haughty expression proclaim his exalted status. Despite the vast expanses of canvas he covered, Rigaud remained concerned with the particular, describing the king's costume in great detail, even down to his shoe buckles.


Possibly Palais des Tuileries (Paris, France)

1830 - possibly 1836

Possibly King Charles X of France, French, 1757 - 1836 (Paris, France; Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria), possibly by inheritance to his daughter-in-law, Marie-Caroline, or his grandson, Henri de Bourbon V, possibly 1836.

Possibly Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berri, 1798 - 1870

- possibly by 1883

Henri de Bourbon V, duke of Bordeaux and count of Chambord, 1820 - 1883 (Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria; Paris, France; Venice, Italy), by inheritance within the Bourbon family, possibly to Jaime III de Borbón y Borbón.

- 1931

Jaime III de Borbón y Borbón, 1870 - 1931, by inheritance to his niece, Beatrice Teresa de Borbòn y Borbòn, 1931.

1931 - 1938

Princess Beatrice Teresa de Borbón y Borbón, 1871 - 1961 (Rome, Italy; Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria) [sold, Massimo sale, Sotheby's, London, July 20, 1938, lot 136, to J. Paul Getty.]

1938 - 1970

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.

Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016

Sotheby's London. Catalogue of Pictures and Drawings: Comprising the Collections of the Royal House of France [...] and sold by order of H. R. H. Princess Beatrix de Bourbon-Massimo. July 20, 1938 p. 25, lot 136.

Getty, J. Paul, and Ethel Le Vane. Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe (London: W. H. Allen, 1955) pp. 62-63, 143-44, 159-61, 178.

Fredericksen, Burton B. A Handbook of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965) p. 15.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965) pp. 9-10, 124-25, ill.

Jones, Anne Marion. A Handbook of the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965) p. 8.

Davenport, William, and the Sunset Editors. Art Treasures in the West (Menlo Park: Lane Magazine & Book Co., 1966) p. 40.

Getty, J. Paul. The Golden Age (New York: Trident Press, 1968) p. 98.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972) pp. 95-96.

Bordeaux, Jean-Luc. "The J. Paul Getty Museum: La peinture française." Connaissance des arts, no. 278 (April 1975) p. 84.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 107, ill.

Walsh, John, and Deborah Gribbon. The J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Collections: A Museum for the New Century (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 31.

From Beijing to Versailles: Artistic Relations between China and France, exh. cat. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Musee National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet, 1997) pp. 170-71, no. 56, entry by Xavier Salmon.

Franko, Mark. "Figural Inversions of Louis XIV's Dancing Body." in Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines (Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University, 2000) pp. 35-51, fig. 2.

Herbert, James. "A Picture of Chardin's Making." Eighteenth-Century Studies 34, no. 2 (Winter 2001) pp. 259, 260, 270, 274, n. 40, ill.

James-Sarazin, Ariane. "Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743)." Ph.D. diss. 2 vols. (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 2003) vol. 2, p. 1030, no. 213, ill.

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