Very charming portrait depicts Philippe V (Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV) as Saint John the Baptist.
Installed on a red velvet cushion embroidered with gold, the little boy tenderly embraces a lamb, the companion of St John the Baptist.
The small reed cross decorated with a standard is in the foreground of the painting.
Naked, the future king of Spain, is wrapped in an ermine coat lined with blue velvet. He looks affably at the viewer with his large gray-blue eyes.
Large curly blond locks frame his chubby face.
The blond hair, the white flesh of the child, his chubby face stands out against the background of dark curtains. The intense colors, reds and blues, typical of Pierre Mignard's palette bring contrast to the composition.
The carefully modeled drapes of blue velvet, with illuminated ridges and dark blue hollows enliven the scene. Intense lighting reflecting in his porcelain flesh only amplifies the solemn character of this sovereign child. However, the tenderness and affection in the gestures makes the atmosphere full of sweetness, transforming the lamb into a pet.
Oil on canvas of oval shape, large original carved giltwood frame.
Pierre Mignard's workshop (1612-1695)
Dimensions: h. 86 cm l. 71 cm
With frame: h. 108 cm l. 89 cm
French painter (Troyes 1612-Paris 1695). Pupil of Vouet, he worked in Italy, especially in Rome, from 1635 to 1657, before joining Paris at the request of Louis XIV; he then executed several orders, such as the dome of Val-de-Grâce (1663). A renowned portrait painter, he knew how to flatter the model, but also to mix expression with grace in clear and fresh tones, opposite to the majesty of Le Brun. On the death of his rival (1690), he succeeded him as the king's first painter and director of the Gobelins factory.
Philippe V, (Versailles, December 19, 1683 - Madrid, July 9, 1746), king of Spain and India. Second son of Louis of France, known as "the Grand Dauphin", and grandson of King Louis XIV, Philippe de France is titled Duke of Anjou. He succeeds his maternal great-uncle Charles II, last king of Spain of the Habsburg dynasty, and he himself becomes king of Spain, first of the Bourbon dynasty (his descendants then adopt the name of Bourbon, like their ancestor Antoine de Bourbon, who became king of Navarre in 1555). His reign, 45 years and 2 days, is the longest in the Spanish monarchy.