37, Promenade des AnglaisNice, France
+33 (0) 4 93 16 64 00
Dressed in his ermine coronation robes, King Louis XIV has taken up his place once again at Le Negresco. This generously sized artwork, which measures 260x210cm, underwent a major restoration at the Lyon workshop Aldo Peaucelle, a project which took nearly 6 months.
After 400 hours of devoted and painstaking work, this portrait of the Sun King, or Roi Soleil, by Hyacinthe Rigaud, dating from 1701, has regained its original bright colors to take pride of place in our hotel. We are the proud owner of one of three copies of this masterpiece work, with the two others residing at Versailles and the Louvre.
With this restoration, Le Negresco underlines its fondness for French art history and holds high the values close to its heart through the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) certification.
Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Louis XIV in coronation robes, 1701
This outstanding portrait of Louis XIV in coronation robes is famous, having become the ‘official’ portrait of the monarch.
Hyacinthe Rigaud’s portrait is a model of its kind, blending affectation with magnificence and conveying a sense of power and stability. In fact, the king was at first reluctant to have his portrait painted and only agreed to please his grandson, Philippe V, who wanted to take it back to Spain as a souvenir of his grandfather.
This painting, with a strong vertical thrust suggesting power, is especially remarkable for its treatment of the fabrics: the volume of the cloak gives the figure his full stature while the delicacy of the lace and the brocade Rhinegrave breeches reflect the refinement that the king introduced to his court. The hand, the closed crown (placed in the background), Henri IV’s sceptre and Charlemagne’s sword (well in evidence) complete the depiction of an absolute monarch whose two essential virtues, justice and strength, are suggested in the bas reliefs in the bottom part of the column.
This sumptuous portrait is one of the most striking examples of Jeanne Augier’s determination to repatriate French artworks that had been sold abroad. She bought it from a Belgian collector.
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