Absolutism In King Louis XIV

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Louis XIV was an absolute monarch in France from 1643 to 1715. His father died when he was just four years old, making Louis XIV the throne’s successor at a very young age. Because of this, he ruled for seventy-two years, which made him “the longest monarch to rule a major country in European history” (Eggert). But it was when he was twenty-three years old when he decided to rule without a prime minister, believing it was his divine right. Translated by Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon, the author of the book The Memoirs of Louis XIV: His Court and The Regency, King Louis XIV wrote, “The royal power is absolute. The royal throne is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God himself. Kings should be guarded as holy things, and whoever…show more content…
The quote possibly meant that his standards for artistic production should represent the wealthy and the royalty, should be made by the greatest, talented, and well known artists during his time, and made by the most expensive materials. Which eventually led him to use the arts as a way to promote his rule. Thus, as a way to control all of France, Louis XIV glorified absolute monarchy through different forms of art. One example of how absolutism is portrayed through the arts is painting. Hyacinthe Rigaud painted portraits of King Louis XIV that symbolized the French monarchy and Louis XIV’s rule as an absolute monarch. The aristocratic portraiture’s main concern is the appearance of the painting itself and enhancing the theme of regality. It served as an allegory for royal authority, and with Rigaud’s paintings of the King, his main intent was to glorify the monarchy. In Rigaud’s paintings, King Louis XIV demonstrates the embodiment of an aristocrat: the ideal, civilized, and elegant man. Through the well-mannered way he poses, and the serious expression on his face, it demonstrates…show more content…
Other than through paintings and architecture, he decided how the French society should behave through the use of dance, thus creating one of the most challenging yet beautiful types of dance today: ballet. He was also an inspiration when it came to how the French nobility should dress. Louis XIV’s legacy and contribution when it comes to French fashion is still very prominent today. Using the most intricate styles like embroidery from King Louis’s XIV rule, traditionally hand sewn clothing that are made up to 100 or more hours, with the most expensive fabrics like velvet, silk, fur, and lace is still done today, and it is featured six times a year by the biggest and most popular couturiers and designers during fashion week for women and men’s, and couture week, which is only held in the 4 biggest cities that celebrate fashion, also known as the Big 4: New York, London, Milan, and Paris. All of this is possible now because of Louis XIV’s idea to use the arts to represent his rule as an absolute monarch. However, because King Louis XIV was more interested in the creative activities of the state, France was weakened by several extensive wars, that and his
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