Portrait medal of Louis XIV and Anne of Austria.

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Creator

Jean Warin (1606-1672).

Title

Portrait medal of Louis XIV and Anne of Austria.

Date

1638.

Description

Inscription (Obverse): ANNA . D[ei] . G[ratia] . FR[anciae] . ET . NA[varrae] . RE[egina] . R[egnans] . MATER . LVD[ovici] . XIV . D[ei] . G[ratia] . FR[anciae . ET . NAV[arrae] . REG[is] . CHR[istianissimi] . (Anne, by the grace of God queen regent of France and Navarre, mother of Louis XIV, by the grace of God most Christian king of France and Navarre.)

Reverse: The Church of the Val-de-Grace as planned by François Mansart (1598–1665).

Inscription: . OB . GRATIAM . DIV . DESIDERATI . REGII . ET . SECUNDI . PARTVS . (In thanks for the longed-for happy issue of the king.)

Dated in the exergue: . QUINTO . CAL . SEPT . 1638.

Anne of Austria (1601–1666) had been married to the young Louis XIII (b. 1601; reigned, 1610–1643) in 1615, but for twenty years the marriage had been without issue. At last, on September 5, 1638, the queen was delivered of a son, the future Louis XIV (b. 1638; reigned, 1643–1715). She had vowed that if only she might produce an heir, she would show her gratitude to God by building a church and convent for an order of Benedictine nuns. This medal was cast to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone of the Val-de-Grace, in Paris on April 1, 1645.

This medal is one of my favorites because it departs from the usual profile portrait to depict a scene of unusual tenderness, reflecting the deep emotions felt by the recently widowed queen as she expresses both her gratitude to God for giving her a son and the love she feels for that son, who will become one of France’s greatest rulers. On the reverse, Warin, who was a key figure in the history of the medal in France, has produced one of the finest and most impressive architectural images in medallic history.

Source

Stephen K. Scher

Tags

Citation

Jean Warin (1606-1672)., “Portrait medal of Louis XIV and Anne of Austria.,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed June 25, 2018, http://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/321.