Louis after Louis: appropriations and reinventions of Louis XIV style from the 18th to the 21st century


Ludwig II of Bavaria’s Hall of Mirrors, Schloß Herrenchiemsee, 1870s. image (c) Robert Wellington.

Louis XIV is the paradigmatic monarch of the early-modern period. During his reign he was emulated by friends and enemies alike, who appropriated (and parodied) all aspects of the visual and material culture of his reign. This longue durée project explores the appropriations and transformations of the Sun King’s image from the John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough in the early-eighteenth century to Ludwig II of Bavaria in the late nineteenth century. In recent years, Louis XIV style has been emulated by a new generation of wealthy elite, including presidential candidate Donald Trump. This project investigates the appropriations and reinventions of iconography and decorative arts produced for 300 years since the French king’s death.

Related publications:

“A Reflection of the Sun: The First Duke of Marlborough in the image of Louis XIV,” The Court Historian (December, 2016). wellington-a-reflection-of-the-sun-the-duke-of-marlborough-in-the-image-of-louis-xiv

“Going for gold: Donald Trump, Louis XIV, and interior design,” The Conversation (23 Jan, 2017): https://theconversation.com/going-for-gold-trump-louis-xiv-and-interior-design-71698

Related public lectures:

“Tanned by the Sun King: Donald Trump and Louis XIV,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2018.

“Sun King to Moon King: Emulating the Grand Siècle in the 18th and 19th Centuries,”  The Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on 18th- and 19th-CenturyFrench Decorative Arts and Culture, Bard Graduate Centre, New York, January 2016.