King Louis Xiv Analysis

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In 1701, Hyacinthe Rigaud painted an oil portrait of King Louis XIV. This portrait would soon become one of the most famous portraits of the sun king. All elements of the portrait are meant to show the king’s power and wealth, like the coronation robes, the scepter, and the crown. However, aspects of the portrait ambiguously reflect on Louis XIV’ influence in the fashion industry during the late 17th century. A few examples of this are his wig, his sword and its sheath, and his shoes and stockings in the portrait. The facts presented in this essay will conclude the idea that Louis XIV had a definite impact on the fashion community and it is shown through his 1701 portrait painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud through his periwig, sword and sheath, and shoes and stockings.
One of the main reasons this portrait was chosen instead of his others is because of its popularity. Not only
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The sun king’s 1701 portrait depicts his influence in the clothes and accessories he bears. His long, dark curly wig is mimicked off of his hairstyle in his youth and becomes so popular it kick-starts the wig industry in France. This boosts the money royalty has in possession because this new industry was easily taxable. Similarly, the sheath of the sword is decorated in jewels, a trait the king also popularized, as well as mandating that all subjects within his palace have a sword, indicating he knew his influence and practiced his power over the fashion of the country. Lastly, the sun king’s shoes and stocking represent how he changed the fashion into what he wanted it to be. He popularized the red heeled shoes in his portrait as well as wearing stockings with shoes. Louis XIV is an influential individual that came to power in the second half of 17th century and changed the face of fashion, as can be seen in his 1701

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