The king is sitting on a gold throne and pointing to bundles of goods with his left hand. Upon Colbert’s initiative, Louis XIV is endeavouring to renew the French fleet, both civilian and military. The composition most likely evokes the creation of the French East and West India companies in 1664. This makes the date of 1663, which features in the inscription in the Boileau-Racine condition, somewhat surprising. It is probably an error, as shown by the drawing after the painting by Jean-Baptiste Massé, which shows the date of 1664 (drawing conserved in the Musée du Louvre, inv. 30916). However, the date in the engraving made after the drawing is 1663, which is also the date featured in the current inscription (the correct date, 1664, is visible underneath).

Full title : Re-establishment of the navy, 1663


  • Title: Re-establishment of the navy
  • Creator: Charles Le Brun
  • Physical Location: Palace of Versailles
  • Provenance: Palace of Versailles
  • Type: Painting
  • Copyright: © RMN (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

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