Kings of France Madame, they are always Louis | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Kings of France Madame, they are always Louis

June 15, 2011

Kings of France Madame, they are always Louis

 "His forehead was large and his features strongly marked, he had rather a down cast, though a steady, look. His eyes were blue and large...he had full cheeks, a well proportioned mouth and regular teeth."

M. Montjoye on Louis XVI from Adolphus, John. 1799.  Biographical memoirs of the French Revolution. London: T. Cadell, jun. and W. Davies

Well they were not all "Louis" to be fair, but France had its share of Kings Louis on the throne.  Here are some of the later ones by artists Fouquet, Perréal, de Champaigne, Le Brun, and Duplessis.

If the portraits themselves are not pleasing to you, (who said all Kings were handsome?) perhaps the fashions and accessories, or complimentary reds and greens will be!

Jean Fouquet, Portrait of Louis XI. Oil on panel. Image Source.

Jean Perréal, Louis XII. c.1514. Windsor Castle. Royal Library.

Philippe de Champaigne, Louis XIII (1601-1643), King of France. Oil on canvas, 17th century. Musée Carnavalet.

Charles Le Brun, Portrait of Louis XIV. Painting, late 17th century.  Musée du Louvre.

Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Portrait of Louis XV, King of France (wearing breastplate and the Order of the Golden Fleece). Oil on canvas, 18th century. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Louis XVI. Oil on canvas, 1777. Musée Carnavalet.


  1. I never realized but it's funny how similar Louis XI and XIV are.

  2. ...No hotties(that's for sure!)these royal Louis'...But seriously- this one has got to be the ugliest I've seen of Louis XIV!! (Sheesh and I thought he was the handsomest of the 'Louis'lol!

  3. @Ms. Lucy lol! Did Le Brun do him injustice? Does this or this redeem him?

  4. katherine LouiseJune 18, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Lauren, I love that second added drawing of Louis -- he would be perfect in a 1980s rock band!

  5. Personally I always thought that this portrait was the hottest one of Louis XIV.

  6. Actually Louis XIII was beautiful. I've seen enough pictures of him to know ... and looking at photos of paintings loses half the detail. This one in the Carnavalet is stunning and it's not as fine as de Champaigne's Couronne par Victoire portait of him in the Louvre. Beautiful, beautiful man. :)