18th century French School
Workshop of Jean-Baptiste Van Loo (1684-1745)
Portrait of King Louis XV
Oil on canvas: h. 90 cm, w. 72cm
Original giltwood royal trophy frame carved with the crown and Royal coat of arms of Kingdom of France
Louis XV period
Framed: h. 132 cm, w. 90cm
Magnificent portrait depicting young Louis XV in its exceptional original giltwood trophy frame carved with crown & royal coat of arms of France.
Standing, the young monarch is portrayed half-length, turned three-quarters.
Fully clad in armour, the blue velvet cloak studded with fleur-de-lis and lined with ermine rests on his right shoulder and arms. He holds in his right hand the baton of command decorated with fleur-de-lis, which he leans on a rock in the foreground. The monarch wears the blue cord of the Order of the Holy Spirit as a collar. The white sash of command girds his waist.
A few court clothes and accessories embellish his military attire: the white tie tied at the neck, the gray velvet shoulder pads, the lace sleeves and his tobacco-colored velvet jacket.
The powdered hair, tied at the nape of the neck, frames his face of a beardless teenager, with full cheeks and a fresh tint.
His belligerent figure stands out against a background of blue sky and a hint of vegetation on the right. The rock indicates the free area and favors the warrior image of the king, supposed to be portrayed on a battlefield.
Our work is a studio version by Jean-Baptiste Van Loo, taken with variants of the full-length portrait of the young king in ceremonial costume and armor kept at the Palace of Versailles, inv. MV6942 painted in 1723 by Jean Baptiste Van Loo following the order of the Regent.
Our work has retained its exceptional original trophy frame with French royal coat of arms.
Rectangular in shape, in gilded wood and richly carved, it presents at the corners the shells surrounded by openwork scrolls, flowering branches, scrolls and foliage.
The pediment presents French royal coat of arms: the shield with three fleur-de-lys stamped with the royal crown and surrounded by the collar of the order of Saint-Michel and the Grand cordon of the order of Saint-Esprit placed on a ribbon cartouche , flanked by reeds.
The presence of the frame with French royal coat of arms indicates the importance of the order: undoubtedly a gift of royal origin, probably offered to an ambassador or foreign prince in order to promote the king, but also the Kingdom of France beyond the borders. .
From 1723, faced with the need to quickly distribute the new effigy of the king, many replicas were ordered from the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Van Loo, however few were intended to receive a frame bearing the arms of France.
Its royal frames are all the more rare these days because most of them were destroyed during the French Revolution.
Some frames from the Louis XV period with the arms of France are listed in Serge Roche's book: French and foreign frames from the 15th to the 18th century, Etienne Bignou publisher, 1931, Paris