Engraving of Louis XIV by Pieter Louis van Schuppen (after Wallerant Vaillant)

Engraving of Louis XIV by Pieter Louis van Schuppen (after Wallerant Vaillant)

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Armour of Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias (dated 1712)

This armour is believed to have been presented to the five-year-old Infante Luis, prince of Asturias, by Louis XIV who was his great-grandfather. The gilt rivet heads are of heraldic design, representing the dynastic claims to which Luis was heir (the lion of León, the castle of Castile, and the fleur-de-lis of France).

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Bronze medal of Louis XIV, by Michel Molart (17th century)

Bronze medal of Louis XIV, by Michel Molart (17th century)

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Small desk with folding top (bureau brisé)

This was one of a pair intended for the king’s petit cabinet at Versailles. It is one of the few surviving pieces commissioned for the personal use of Louis XIV.

Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt after a design by Jean Berain (ca. 1685).

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Salon d’Hercules, Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Salon d’Hercules, Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Grand Salon, Vaux-le-Vicomte

Grand Salon, Vaux-le-Vicomte

The library at Vaux-le-Vicomte.

The library at Vaux-le-Vicomte.

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances under Louis XIV. When Fouquet became Louis XIV’s superintendent of finances in 1657, he commissioned Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre to renovate his estate to match his ambition.
Louis was suspicious of Fouquet’s ambition, and his extravagant expenditure and personal display intensified the king’s ill-will. Louis was entertained by Fouquet at Vaux-le-Vicomte, with a fête on 17 August 1661. Fouquet’s intention was to flatter the king (part of the château was actually constructed specifically for him), but his château was too luxurious and the fête was too magnificent. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who later replaced Fouquet as superintendent of finances, led the king to believe that Fouquet funded all this through embezzling the crown, and Fouquet was arrested and imprisoned for life.
Vaux-le-Vicomte was seized, and the king confiscated 120 tapestries, the statues and all the orange trees. Louis then employed the team who designed Vaux-le-Vicomte (Le Brun, Le Vau and Le Nôtre) to design the palace and gardens of Versailles.

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances under Louis XIV. When Fouquet became Louis XIV’s superintendent of finances in 1657, he commissioned Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre to renovate his estate to match his ambition.

Louis was suspicious of Fouquet’s ambition, and his extravagant expenditure and personal display intensified the king’s ill-will. Louis was entertained by Fouquet at Vaux-le-Vicomte, with a fête on 17 August 1661. Fouquet’s intention was to flatter the king (part of the château was actually constructed specifically for him), but his château was too luxurious and the fête was too magnificent. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who later replaced Fouquet as superintendent of finances, led the king to believe that Fouquet funded all this through embezzling the crown, and Fouquet was arrested and imprisoned for life.

Vaux-le-Vicomte was seized, and the king confiscated 120 tapestries, the statues and all the orange trees. Louis then employed the team who designed Vaux-le-Vicomte (Le Brun, Le Vau and Le Nôtre) to design the palace and gardens of Versailles.

Versailles, painted around 1675.

Versailles, painted around 1675.

Portrait medallions of Louis XIV at different times of his life, by Antoine Benoist.

Portrait medallions of Louis XIV at different times of his life, by Antoine Benoist.