Bernini, Louis XIV (Versailles)
Bernini Equestrain Statue of King Louis XIV 1669-70
Bernini had originally designed the site (a mountain peak) for the Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV, the Sun King, on a fiery steed, as can be seen from the preliminary sketch. The base supporting it today lacks the vertical thrust that would enhance the image of this absolute monarch. However, Bernini chose to make the features of Louis XIV resemble those of Alexander the Great. The original terracotta model is by Bernini himself, though the sculpture was executed by his pupils, since he was by then over seventy-three years old. However, the work did not meet with a favourable reception in Paris and Girardon transformed the group into a statue of Marcus Curtius, which was formerly transferred to Versailles and is now in the Louvre.