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Accompanies the major exhibition

Fran├žois Girardon (1628-1715)

Equestrian statue of Louis XIV c. 1696

Bronze | 105.5 x 92.0 x 50.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 31359

Green Drawing Room, Windsor Castle
Equestrian statue of Louis XIV in Roman armour, on a rectangular naturalistic base with canted corners. The statue is mounted on an ebony-veneered pedestal with gilt bronze mounts ordered from the firm of Thomire et Cie. in 1826. The sides of the pedestal are set with framed reliefs after compositions by Adam Frans van der Meulen (1632-1690) of Louis XIV Crossing the Rhine (11 June 1672), and the Capture of Valenciennes, (16 March 1677). Martial trophies are applied to the ends of the pedestal, and at the four corners are figures of Virtues.

This is a cast from the small-scale model prepared by Francois Girardon for the colossal statue which was cast in a single pour by Balthasar Keller in 1692 and installed in the Place Louis-le-Grand (Place Vendome) in Paris in 1699. The statue was destroyed in 1792.

Several examples of the small version are known, some of which were cast at the time of the project and others later. This example is thought to have been cast by Jean Le Pileur in around 1696 and given by the King to the marquis de Phelypeaux, Chancelier de Pontchartrain (1643-1727).

Exhibition catalogue Cast in Bronze: French sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution (Paris, New York and Los Angeles, 2008-9), no. 91B