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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, 1639–1715, active France)
Date: ca. 1685Accession Number: 1986.365.3
Attributed to Charles Le Brun (French, Paris 1619–1690 Paris)
Date: ca. 1683Accession Number: 46.43.4
Possibly after a design by Charles Le Brun (French, Paris 1619–1690 Paris)
Date: ca. 1683Accession Number: 46.43.2
Date: ca. 1683Accession Number: 46.43.3
Johann Valentin Gevers (German, ca. 1662–1737)
Date: ca. 1710Accession Number: 1989.20
Date: ca. 1683Accession Number: 46.43.1
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The objects in this gallery, dating from the reign of Louis XIV (1638–1715), are made of such precious materials as tropical woods, tortoiseshell, ivory, and gilt bronze. Known as the Sun King, Louis was one of the longest reigning and most powerful monarchs in France. With the help of Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–1683), the superintendent of finance, the arts of the day revolved around the king's personal taste and celebrated the magnificence and formality of his court. Royal symbols frequently served as decoration; rarely has a style been more closely associated with the personality of a ruler. Louis XIV focused his attention on transforming his father's hunting lodge at Versailles into a royal residence that became the setting for his court in 1682. The king himself is depicted as Jupiter in the embroidered hanging to the left of the bed. This lavish set of hangings was commissioned by the king's mistress, Madame de Montespan (1641–1707), about 1684–85.
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