• Louis XIV Travelling

    Artist:
    Meulen, Adam-Franz van der. 1632-1690
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    58,5x82,5 cm

Meulen, Adam-Franz van der. 1632-1690

Louis XIV Travelling

France, 1664

Van der Meulen was one of the best-known court painters of Louis XIV. He was responsible for the depiction of views of royal castles, hunting scenes, royal equipages and processions. “Louis XIV Travelling” is a superb example of works of this type. Van der Meulen skillfully organizes space and avoids making the depiction of the procession boring. The royal procession snakes along, following the curves in the road between the hills and trees, directing the viewer's gaze into the distance. An illusion is created of slow and uninterrupted movement of a throng of people. Louis XIV's carriage is drawn by six horses and is accompanied by his retinue and musketeers. It is this group that the artist concentrates on. He conveys the minutest details of the carriage decoration, the horse harnesses, the costumes, while at the same time avoiding dullness and obtrusiveness. His brush strokes are free and easy, the bright colours do not make the painting seem garish. Meulen portrayed the king sitting in the carriage unescorted. This may seem somewhat odd, but the well-known memoirist and writer on the mores of this age, Duc de Saint-Simon, recalls this detail of court life: "When setting off on hunting trips, promenades or lodging for the night at Marly or Meudon, he would travel alone in the carriage. He was unwilling to hear conversations which his retinue might carry on in his presence in the carriage”.

Title:

Louis XIV Travelling

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

58,5x82,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage between 1783 and 1797; transferred from the Tsarskoye Selo Arsenal

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-3522

Category:

Collection: