Manuscript - Louis XV Period (1770) | Portrait of Louis XV of France (Louis-Michel van Loo)
Handwritten document (3 pages) on watermarked laid paper written in 1770 (Louis XV)
This historical document is composed of these 2 documents mounted under passepartout :
Manuscript - Louis XV Period (1770)
Portrait of Louis XV of France (Louis-Michel van Loo)
Louis XV (born February 15, 1710, Versailles - died May 10, 1774, Versailles), known as Louis the Beloved, was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the king took sole control of the kingdom. Louis XV appointed his cousin Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, to replace the late Duke of Orléans as prime minister. One of the first priorities of the Duke of Bourbon was to find a bride for the King, to assure the continuity of the monarchy. In the end, the 21-year-old Marie Leszczyńska, daughter of Stanislaus I, the deposed king of Poland, was finally chosen. The marriage was celebrated in September 1725 when the king was 15.
Ten years later, the king begins to have mistresses, from Madame de Pompadour to Madame du Barry, who will have an influence on the king's policy. Madame de Pompadour, was the most famous and influential of the mistresses of Louis XV, and was an important patron of music and the arts, as well as religious establishments. She is responsible for the development of the Sèvres porcelain factory, and her commissions provide a living for many artists. She also plays an important role in architecture, supervising the works of the Place Louis XV (future high place of the French Revolution, today Place de la Concorde), and of the Military School of Paris, carried out by Ange-Jacques Gabriel , one of his proteges. La Marquise also defends the Encyclopedia project against attacks by the Church. The display of all this luxury in his properties earns him many complaints.
The disinterest of the king in politics for the benefit of leisure, and the succession of ministers with different tendencies, led to a weakening of the influence of the French monarchy in Europe.
In 1764, at the urging of the Parlement, Madame Pompadour and his foreign minister, the Duc de Choiseul, Louis decided upon the Suppression of Jesuit Order in France.
France once again entered a warrior cycle typical of the reign of Louis XIV, in long hostilities : In 1748, Louis XV returned the Austrian Netherlands, won at the Battle of Fontenoy, major engagement of the War of the Austrian Succession fought on 11 May 1745. He ceded New France in North America to Spain and Great Britain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763.
However, France enjoyed great military success on the European continent and acquired the Duchy of Lorraine and the Duchy of Bar (War of Polish Succession, 1733-1738), as well as Corsica (Treaty of Versailles, May 15, 1768).
After the death of the Madame de Pompadour in 1764, the King's favor turned to Jeanne Bécu, the comtesse du Barry. The King soon installed her in the Palace of Versailles, and in 1771 gave her the new Pavillon de Louveciennes; the presence of du Barry at the court scandalized the high members of the Aristocracy.
Louis XV was a major patron of architecture. His major architectural projects were the work of his favorite court architect, Ange-Jacques Gabriel. They included the Ecole Militaire (1751–1770); the Place Louis XV (now Place de la Concorde (1763–83); the Petit Trianon at Versailles (1762–64), and the opera theater of the Palace of Versailles. Louis XV, guided largely by Madame de Pompadour, was the most important art patron of the period. He commissioned François Boucher to paint pastoral scenes for his apartments in Versailles, and gave him the title of First Painter of the King in 1765. Other artists patronized by the King included Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Jean Marc Nattier, and the sculptor Edme Bouchardon. Bouchardon created the monumental statue of Louis XV on horseback which was the centerpiece of Place Louis XV until it was pulled down during the Revolution.
Louis XV died at 3:15 in the morning on 10 May 1774.
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