The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Louis XV
  • Studio of Louis-Michel Vanloo (1707 - 1771)
  • Louis XV
  • c. 1761 - 1771
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 136.6 x 104 cm
    Frame size: 156 x 126 x 9 cm
  • Collector's mark: Mark of the Duchesse de Berry (stamped)
  • P477
  • Back State Room
Further Reading
  • A reduced contemporary copy of the life-size portrait of Louis XV (1710-74), King of France 1715-74, commissioned in 1759, and exhibited at the Salon of 1761 (untraced).Van Loo refers back to Rigaud's famous portrait of Louis XIV of 1701 (Paris, Musée du Louvre). The king is wearing a combination of garments that were not worn on the same day during the celebration of the Sacre in Reims where the French kings were crowned and annointed. The white dress of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit (order of the Holy Spirit), worn on the second day in Reims, is combined with the Royal mantle worn on the first day of the Sacre. The king is wearing the orders of the Holy Spirit and of the Golden Fleece. His right hand is resting on the sceptre and he is wearing the Royal sword, La Joyeuse. Crown and main de justice (the sceptre for the king as supreme judge) are placed on the stool to the left. The image thus combines different aspects of kingdom into an ideal image.
    Van Loo is known to have painted a reduced version of the portrait in 1760, and a full-size replica in 1761. The so-called Cabinet du Roi, a studio of copyists in Versailles was specifically set up for the reproduction of official portraits. The replica of 1761 would stay in the Cabinet as a model for all future versions. Numerous copies wwere made, for use as diplomatic gifts, for embassies, public buildings or as presents for loyal friends and relations. These copies were made in different standard sizes, and other versions of the same size are preserved (e. g. Versailles, musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, MV 6634, by François Guérin; Rennes; Abbeville). Two reduced copies were made for the King’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and another for his minister, the duc de Choiseul. Good life-size copies are at Woburn Abbey, the Grand Trianon, the Royal Museum of Copenhagen (signed) and Versailles (signed by Jean-Martial Frédou and dated 1763).