Studio of Jean-Baptiste van Loo (Aix-en-Provence 1684-1745)
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Studio of Jean-Baptiste van Loo (Aix-en-Provence 1684-1745)

Portrait of King Louis XV (1710-1774; reg. 1715-1774), half-length, in half-armour with the sash of the Ordre du Saint Esprit, before a bust of King Louis XIV

Details
Studio of Jean-Baptiste van Loo (Aix-en-Provence 1684-1745)
Portrait of King Louis XV (1710-1774; reg. 1715-1774), half-length, in half-armour with the sash of the Ordre du Saint Esprit, before a bust of King Louis XIV
oil on canvas
31¾ x 39 1/8 in. (80.7 x 99.4 cm.)
Provenance
In the collection of a Spanish noble family, during the nineteenth century, and subsequently in a private collection, Belgium, during the twentieth century (according to the Sotheby's sale catalogue, below) until
Anonymous Sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 17 June 1988, lot 885, as Louis-Michel van Loo (to Dreesmann).
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-70).
Special notice

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Lot Essay

The composition derives from the full-length portrait of King Louis XV by Van Loo at Versailles. That, in turn, derives from his equestrian portrait of the King painted in collaboration with Charles Parrocel. The latter picture, in which the King's right hand is extended palm upwards, gesturing ahead, was commissioned by the Surintendance for Charles de Lorraine.

Both full-length compositions date from the year of the young King's majority in 1723; until that date, France had been governed by Philippe II, duc d'Orléans as Regent. The present composition goes even further towards making the monarch's personal rule its chief subject. The King is depicted gesturing towards the bust of his illustrious predecessor and great-grandfather, King Louis XIV; in the background is a statue of Justice in a niche, whilst at the base of the column is inscribed the Latin 'SIC' ('thus'), implying the manner in which the rule of his majority will be conducted.
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