Portrait of Louis XIV (1643-1715)

Antoine Coysevox (1640-1720)

    • 17th century

This statue of Louis XIV on foot is one of the rare monumental effigies of the Sun King that escaped destruction during the French Revolution. Made by Antoine Coysevox, it shows the sculptor’s talent as a portraitist, a specialty upon which his reputation was based. When he was given this commission, he had already worked for the royal power, in particular for the decoration of the Château de Versailles, like many of the artists of his time. He shows the king wearing a Classical breastplate and the cloak of Roman emperors. The statue is accompanied by two allegorical bas reliefs in bronze, also by Coysevox, that decorate the sides of the pedestal. L’Ange de la France expulsant l’Hérésie (The Angel of France Driving Out Heresy) is on the right and Distribution d’aliments aux pauvres (Distribution of Food to the Poor) is on the left.

Unveiled on July 14, 1689, the sculpture adorned the arcade at the rear of the Paris City Hall courtyard. Removed from its original emplacement, the bronze statue has welcomed visitors to the Carnavalet Museum since 1890.