This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance
About the object
Louis XIV fan leaf, finely painted with a design illustrating the ‘Triumph of Alexander’, the moment in 331BC when Alexander the Great entered Babylon, having defeated the Persian King Darius III. This design, painted in gouache and probably on vellum, is taken from one of a set of five paintings Charles Le Brun created for Louis XIV between 1661 and 1668. It is set within a fine carved and gilded gesso frame with a Verre églomisé mount.
French circa 1700.
w:23 in x h:12.25 in
From early in his reign, Louis XIV had been identified with Alexander the Great and considered himself to be a second Alexander. This fan leaf shows Alexander as portrayed by Le Brun, but his red and gold cloak has been replaced with one of strong cobalt blue, the colour closely associated with the French monarchy. Other details relate the scene more closely to Louis’ court; the large perfume burner, on the right, is typical of those used at his court and the detail of the large metallic urn being carried on a stretcher echoes those found in tapestries, notably that commemorating Louis’ visit to the Gobelins factory in 1667 (in the Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon). An Italian fan with a leaf the same as this is held in the V&A’s collection, Museum No. 2276-1876. The above information has been taken from their summary.