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
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Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S103
Cabinet on Stand
Paris, France (Place created)
about 1675 - 1680
Oak veneered with pewter, brass, tortoise shell, horn, ebony, ivory, and wood marquetry; bronze mounts; figures of painted and gilded oak; drawers of snakewood
229.9 × 151.2 × 66.7 cm (90 1/2 × 59 1/2 × 26 1/4 in.)
The decoration on this monumental cabinet refers to the French king Louis XIV's military victories. A panel of marquetry showing the cockerel of France standing triumphant over both the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire and the lion of Spain and the Spanish Netherlands decorates the central door. On the drawer above the door, gilt-bronze military trophies flank a medallion portrait of Louis XIV. In the Dutch Wars of 1672 to 1678, France fought simultaneously against the Dutch, Spanish, and Imperial armies, defeating them all. This cabinet celebrates the Treaty of Nijmegen, which concluded the war. Two large figures from Greek mythology, Hercules and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, representatives of strength and bravery in war, appear to support the cabinet.
The fleurs-de-lis on the top two drawers indicate that the cabinet was made for Louis XIV. As it does not appear in inventories of his possessions, it may have served as a royal gift. The Sun King's portrait appears twice on this work. The bronze medallion above the central door was cast from a medal struck in 1661 that shows the king at the age of twenty-one. Another medallion inside shows him a few years later.
The pair to this cabinet still exists in Scotland. Both cabinets probably entered England in the early nineteenth century after the French Revolution caused the dispersal of so many French collections.
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