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ID number:  BIRBI-70.4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Le Brun, Charles (1619-1690)
Title / Object name:  Portrait Head of King Louis XIV
Object type:  Drawing
Place made:  Paris
Culture:  French
Date made:  about 1663
Materials:  Black, red and white chalk
Measurements:  435 x 351 mm
Provenance:  Purchased at Sotheby's, 25 June 1970, lot no. 97, for £3,200 + 5% commission to Colnaghi (£160)

This is the earliest known portrait of Louis XIV by Le Brun. The drawing dates from around 1663 when the king was aged twenty-five and suffering from scarlet fever. Le Brun was particularly interested in how a person’s face could indicate their personality. The king’s features in this drawing suggest that he was a youthful, intelligent and confident leader. Drawn from life, this study was probably used for one of the Gobelins tapestries in a series entitled L’ Histoire du Roi (History of the King), which Le Brun worked on between 1662 and 1673.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed indistinctly l.l. Inscribed on verso: Mr Le Brun. Portrait de Louis 14e au sortir de sa Maladie de fi*evre ou sa Majest*e courut grand risque. No. 24.

1 Related People

Le Brun, Charles
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