Description Louis (1661-1711), as eldest son and heir of the French king Louis XIV, bore the title "grand dauphin." He died before he could take the throne, as did his son, but his grandson became Louis XV. In these well-known companion pieces (with Walters 27.414), of which there are other versions, the dauphin is shown with his mother, Marie-Thérèse of Austria (1638-1683), suggesting that the initial pair was commissioned as a gift for the king. Slightly later casts, such as these, were likely also commissioned as presents. François Girardon was the most eminent sculptor in France during the late 17th century and carried out many commissions for the royal palace at Versailles. Here, he flatters the dauphin by emphasizing his armor and wig, drawing attention away from the fleshy face. Louis is also depicted in ivory among the nearby portrait miniatures.
Provenance Jacques Seligmann, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912
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