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“I am the state.

- Louis XIV, speech to French parliament

#1. What does this quote indicate about how Louis XIV viewed his own power?
The quote indicates that Louis XIV saw himself as the whole government, and that he belives he
is very powerful.

Louis XIV was referred to, by himself and the rest of French society, as the Sun King. This coin
from his reign shows his image on the left, and depicts him as the Sun King on the right.

#2. What is the symbolic value of this portrayal?

I believe that the meaning of comparing himself to the sun is to emphasize how powerful he is.

Textbook Excerpts:
“From 1648 to 1653, violent riots tore France apart. At times, the nobles who led the riots
threatened the young king’s life. Even after the violence was over, Louis never forgot his fear or
his anger at the nobility. He determined to become so strong that they could never threaten him
“He weakened the power of the nobles by excluding them from his councils. In contrast, he
increased the power of the government agents called intendants, who collected taxes and
administered justice. To keep power under central control, he made sure that local officials
communicated regularly with him.”
“Having the noble sat the palace increased royal authority in two ways. It made the nobility
totally dependent on Louis. It also took them from their homes, thereby giving more power to the
intendants. Louis required hundreds of nobles to live with him at the splendid palace he built at
Versailles, about 11 miles southwest of Paris.”

#3. What methods did Louis XIV use to weaken the nobles, and increase his own power?
He excluded them from his councils, forced them to live in his palace, and gave more power to
the intendants
Exterior view, Versailles Palace

Interior view, Versailles Palace

#4. What does the construction of Versailles Palace indicate about Louis XIV’s reign?
He didn’t care if he spent an unnecessary amount of money.
Textbook Excerpt:
“Versailles was a center of the arts during Louis’s reign. Louis made opera and ballet more
popular. He even danced the title role in the ballet The Sun King… Under Louis, the chief
purpose of art was no longer to glorify God, as it had been in the MIddle Ages. Nor was its
purpose to glorify human potential, as it had been in the Renaissance. Now the purpose of art
was to glorify the king and promote values that supported Louis’s absolute rule.”

#5. How did Louis XIV view the purpose of art, and why did he promote the arts so
He saw the purpose of art as a way to glorify himself and promoted it to glorify himself.

- Portrait of Louis XIV, Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701

#6. How does this portrait portray the power of Louis XIV?
It shows how wealthy he is because it shows extravagant curtains and robes.