L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, April 1, 2016

Louis XIII in his boyhood - portraits by Frans Pourbus the Younger

The young king at the age of ten, circa 1611.

Louis XIII (27 September 1601, Fontainebleau — 14 May 1643, Paris), monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1610 to 1643.  Shortly before his ninth birthday, Louis became king of France and Navarre after his father Henry IV was assassinated. His mother, Marie de' Medici, acted as regent during his minority, but mismanagement of the kingdom and the ceaseless political intriguing of his mother and her Italian favourites led the young king - not yet sixteen - to seize power in 1617. He thereafter relied heavily on his chief ministers, first Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes - with whom he developed an intense emotional attachment - and then the famous Cardinal Richelieu, to govern France. King and cardinal established the Académie française and ended the revolt of the French nobility. But the reign of "Louis the Just" was also marked by the struggles against the Huguenots and with Habsburg Spain.

In 1615 he had married Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain, in what was plainly a political alliance. A full twenty-three years and four stillbirths later, the couple welcomed their first son and heir and, two years after that, another son; it was considered something of a miracle. The King was a severe life-long stutterer, a bisexual - at least - and, though a nearly indefatigable hunter and hawker, he seems to have been rather a delicate flower. He was a fairly constant victim of ailments minor or less so, all of them certainly exacerbated by the medical practices of the day. It appears that inflammation of the intestines and pulmonary tuberculosis finally did him in at the age of forty-one. He is best remembered today for two things: building the modest hunting lodge at Versailles that was transformed by his elder son, and for that son: Louis XIV.

Circa 1616.
Circa 1608.
Circa 1611.
(This looks to be a copy or badly restored; the painting of the face looks very different than the others.)
Circa 1616.
Circa 1620.


Frans Pourbus the Younger (circa 1569, Antwerp – buried on 19 February 1622, Paris), Flemish painter best known for his portraits, he was the son of Frans Pourbus the Elder and grandson of Pieter Pourbus. Completing his apprenticeship in Antwerp in 1591, Pourbus went on to work for many of the most important people of his day, including the Brussels-based Spanish Regents of the Netherlands, the Duke of Mantua, and Marie de' Medici, Queen of France. In 1609, he moved to Paris at the instigation of the French queen. There he perfected his style: his portraits are static but with an often brilliant coloration, and are most notable for their meticulously detailed depiction of elaborate costumes and jewelry. He remained in his position as the Queen's court painter until his death at the age of fifty-three.

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