Giacomo Torelli

The resplendent King Louis XIV enters a magnificent atrium at left; a Roman procession leads his lion-drawn chariot. Behind them, a group of figures gathers around an altar. Attendees are packed among the ornate colonnades and peer down from the balconies of Torelli’s lavish architectural setting. Torelli arrived in Paris in 1645, bringing with him the grand stage sets that had made him a success in Venice. Starting in the mid-1650s, the young Sun King increasingly organized and performed in entertainments, particularly ballets, for which Torelli would design sets. This refined drawing cannot be linked to a specific production, however; it may simply show the king entering an otherwise unrecorded court festival.

Giacomo Torelli (1604–1678)
A Royal Entry into a Classical Court, ca. 1650–65
Pen and brown and black ink, brush and black ink, with gray wash
Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager; 1982.75:636