King Louis XIV Near the Canal at Bruges, studio of Van der Meulen, c. 1670

Period : 17th century
Origin : Oil on canvas
Materials : Paris, France
Signature : Studio of Adam Frans van Der Meulen
Dimensions : l. 44.49 inch X h. 37.4 inch
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King Louis XIV Near the Canal at Bruges, studio of Van der Meulen, c. 1670

Our work illustrates the last battle of the triumphant campaign of Flanders, led by Louis XIV in the years 1667-1668.
The title is "The Defeat of the Count of Marsin, Commander of the Spanish Army near the Canal of Bruges (August 31, 1667)"
The moment chosen by the artist is when Louis XIV ordered Marechal de Bellefonds to attack Marsin, near the canal at Bruges.
Against a background of cannon smoke and cavalry combat, the group of horsemen in the foreground on the right stands out from the darkness of the undergrowth. The light highlights the sovereign, seen from three quarters, mounted on a white horse, galloping to the left, pointing to a distant point with his cane; next to him, the Marechal de Bellefonds in red, hat in hand, listens attentively to the monarch.
In the background, the two horsemen following the king are the Grand Condé, recognizable by his aquiline profile and wearing a feathered hat, and Marshal de Créqui, commander of the royal troops.
In the background, the army crosses the canal to attack the Spanish army.

Studio of Adam Frans van der Meulen, circa 1670
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: h. 71 cm, w. 90cm
Important 17th century richly carved and giltwood frame
Framed: h. 95 cm, w. 113cm

Our painting, a studio version of Adam Frans van der Meulen, after the autograph work at the Louvre Museum. The latter is itself considered to be a sketch after the large preparatory drawing executed in collaboration with Charles Le Brun: the latter drew the figures and Van der Meulen, the landscape.
As for the drawing, it was executed following the royal commission for the series of 14 tapestries exalting the beginning of his reign, entitled the History of the King. Charles Le Brun, Director of the Royal Gobelins Manufactory, was commissioned by the sovereign to realise drawings, with the help of Van der Meulen, of the 14 most significant episodes of the young sovereign's political life, five of which concern the War of Devolution (1667- 1668).
At the same time, Van der Meulen and his studio made replicas from the drawings, thus continuing to serve the propaganda of the monarchy and the promotion of the military power of the kingdom.

Related works:

  • • Palace of Versailles, Gobelins tapestry from cartoons by Charles Le Brun and Adam Frans Van der Meulen,
  • • Louvres Museum, autograph version by van der Meulen, oil on canvas, 90 x 72 cm
  • • Palace of Versailles, studio version, oil on canvas, 80 x 52 cm
  • • Bayeux Museum of Art and History, studio version, oil on canvas, 90 x 72 cm

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Galerie Nicolas Lenté
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