Le Roi est Mort

February 13, 2016

At Versaille, there is an entire exhibit dedicated to Louis XIV death: La mort du roi. French monarchs were bearers of absolute and divine power. After his death, everyone wanted a piece of the Sun King. His body was buried in the Saint-Denis Basilica, his entrails sent to Notre Dame Cathedral and his heart placed in Saint-Louis-Saint-Paul.

The most interesting discovery was this painting.

drolling-interieur-d-une-cuisine

It does not stand out. I probably would have walked right past it if our guide, Benjamin, hadn’t pulled us aside to point out what made it special. The heart contains a substance that can be added to varnish. Emulsion containing Louis XIV’s heart was actually sold to painters who would use it to enhance their artwork. Martin Drölling was among them and this is why his Intérieur d’une cuisine now hangs in the Versaille.

 

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