Louis XIV


Robert Nanteuil was the most sought-after portraitist during the first part of Louis XIV’s reign. He created most of his engravings after his own pastel drawings made ad vivum (from life). Between 1661 and 1678 the king sat for him at least five times, leading to a dozen different portraits, usually commissioned to accompany a high-ranking patron’s academic thesis. It was thanks to Nanteuil’s solicitation that Louis signed an edict in 1660 that elevated engraving to a fine art and entitled its practitioners to the same privileges enjoyed by other artists.

Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905.