portrait of louis xv as a boy after pierre gobert

Portrait of Louis XV as a Boy, After Pierre Gobert.


Price

£6,500
| $8,655 USD | €7,365 EUR


Item Number

9054

Description

Oil on canvas in an elaborate gilded frame.
18th century in the manner of Pierre Gobert (1662-1744). Beautifully painted, with almost a miniaturist's skill, this portrait is of an intimate size, being only 24 inches tall including the frame.
This high quality and animated portrait of Louis XV beautifully captures both the regality of this young king and his childhood innocence.
Louis XV was widely known as Louis Le Bien Aimé or Louis the Beloved and was born at the Palace of Versailles during the reign of his great-grandfather Louis XIV. Louis XV was not expected to become king, he was the third son of the Duke of Burgundy (who became the Grand Dauphin after his father’s death in April 1711) and was given the title of Duke of Anjou. In 1712 the Grand Dauphin’s wife, Marie Adélaïde, died of smallpox and only a week later the Grand Dauphin, heartbroken and ill, also died. It soon became apparent that their two sons, Louis, Duke of Brittany and the Duke of Anjou (Louis XV) had also become infected with smallpox and after several attempts to save the Duke of Brittany’s life, through extensive bloodletting, he died. The Duke of Anjou’s governess, Madame de Ventadour, prevented bloodletting to treat the young prince and ultimately saved his life. Louis survived smallpox and was the heir to the French throne at the age of two.
Whilst the king was an infant the country was governed by a Regency Council of fourteen members including Philippe, Duke of Orléans, nephew of Louis XIV, who was named president. It was Philippe of Orléans who encouraged French decorative arts and helped establish Louis XV’s extravagant style. Louis was curious and open-minded, an intelligent boy who quickly developed eclectic tastes.
In 1721 at the age of eleven, Louis was betrothed to his first cousin Maria Anna Victoria of Spain who was three years old, and the following year he was crowned king in Reims Cathedral. In the two years that followed, the Duke of Bourbon became increasingly concerned with Louis’s health and sought to find an older European princess who could bear children and would become the future queen of France. The king married twenty-one year old Marie Leszczynska, daughter of Stanislaw I, deposed king of Poland, in 1725 when Louis was just fifteen. Four years later after her third pregnancy, the queen gave birth to an heir, another Louis.
Louis XV’s reign was defined by lavish spending, which brought France to the edge of bankruptcy, and wars with England, Austria, the Ottoman Empire and Prussia. Called the ‘First Gentleman of Europe’ he was charming, handsome and intelligent; three attributes present in the face of the young king in this portrait.
PIERRE GOBERT (1662 – 13 February 1744) was a French painter.
He was born in Fontainebleau, the son of the sculptor Jean Gobert. Pierre entered the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture on 31 December 1701 as a portraitist. During the reign of Louis XV he became the preferred painter of the great ladies of the court as evidenced by the large collection of portraits that he executed during that time.
SIZE: 23.75 x 22 x 3 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: *Reputably from the Collection of Lady Fraser, Scotland.
* Collection of a Somerset family, originally from Scotland.
Internal Ref: 9054


Dimensions

Height = 61 cm (24")
Width = 56 cm (22")
Depth = 7 cm (3")


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