- Reference number
- Rigaud, Hyacinthe (French)
- Louis XIV
- 238 cm x 149 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (colección Felipe V, Palacio de La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1727; col. Felipe V, La Granja, 1746, nº 407; La Granja, 1794, nº 407; La Granja, 1814-1818, nº 407).
A full-length portrait of the French monarch (1683-1715) with complete armor at a battlefield, which emphasizes his military aspect. The ruler's staff bearing the fleur de lis that is the heraldic symbol of the Bourbon family, and the blue sash of the Order of the Saint Esprit complete this portrait's strong rhetoric of power and majesty.
The canvas, whose battlefield background was painted by Joseph Parrocel (1646-1704), belonged to a series of court portraits by Rigaud or Nicolas de Larguillièrre that arrived in Spain at the beginning of Felipe V's reign as a result of the installation of the new Bourbon dynasty in Spain.
Rigaud based this work on the model of outdoor portraits made popular by Van Dyck much earlier. He shows considerable interest in the expressions and in a meticulous representation of the textiles and objects, and of the clear sumptuousness and richness of the composition. Along with his large workshop, the artist manages to perfectly reflect the relevance of the personages depicted in his portraits. Here he shows the Sun King at the height of his powers: distant, powerful and sure of himself, in a painting made when he was struggling to maintain his grandson, Felipe V, on the Spanish throne.