Sun King Louis XIV

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The rule of Louis XIV was one of theatrical splendor. The Sun King's absolutist reign seeped into his private affairs; every moment of his life was carefully planned and accounted for. His sovereign magnificence, histrionic in nature, is survived by the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France, the lavish stage in which his life gloriously unfolded. The château is a grand example of what royal patronage can accomplish. Its completion was no single-handed feat, but involved the collaboration of several great artists, gardeners and architects of the time. Theatrical, lavish and magnificent, the Palace of Versailles is the epitome of French Baroque art and architecture. Louis XIV ascended to the throne in 1643, when he was only five years old. His mother, Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin ruled as regents until 1661, when he assumed his role as sovereign. His absolutist regime sponsored trade and commerce, encouraged industry growth, expanded the French…show more content…
Designed by Hardouin-Mansart and decorated by Le Brun's ceiling and lunette paintings, the Grand Gallery served as a reception area, as well as passage way. The presence of the Great King is felt as the light of the Sun enters the hall through the second story windows and reflects on the 578 mirrors on the opposite wall. This creates an optical illusion which serves to amplify the space and width of the hall. Garden views can be seen through the seventeen ornate windows and beautiful golden chandeliers adorn the ceiling. The hall of the Mirrors thus captures the essence of King Louis XIV beyond the Sun King iconography, for it emphasizes the act of being put on display for all to see. The multiple reflections of the Kings image on the mirrors offers a metaphor for his life. His presence is meant to be felt everywhere, almost omnipotently. Moreover, everything that surrounds him, including his own image, is an expansion of his
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