This bust of Louis XIV by Marc Arcis was created in 1674. Arcis went on to receive the commission for the busts of the galerie des Illustres (gallery of the Illustrious ) for the Capitole (Toulouse town hall).
Despite not yet having ever met the young monarch (aged 36 at the time), the sculptor succeeded in perfectly rendering the king’s impetuous, pleasure-seeking character. Unlike other busts in the gallery which were whitewashed, this one representing Louis XIV was gilded for some time before being painted green to imitate bronze. The three quarter profile and the virtuoso carving of the king’s curls made this work a veritable tour de force which led directly to the young sculptor being commissioned by the Capitouls (the governors of Toulouse).