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The Dream of Absolutism – Louis XIV and the Logic of Modernity - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Dream of Absolutism: Louis XIV and the Logic of Modernity

Hall Bjørnstad


What was absolutism, and how did it work? What was the function of the ostentatious displays of power surrounding Louis XIV at Versailles? What is gained—and what is lost—by approaching such expressions of absolutism as propaganda, as present-day scholars tend to do? This book argues that the exuberance of Louis XIV’s reign was not top-down propaganda in any modern sense, but rather a dream dreamt collectively, by king, court, image-makers, and nation alike. It explores this dream through a sustained close analysis of a corpus of absolutist artifacts, ranging from Charles Le Brun’s paintings i ... More

Keywords: absolutism, kingship, power, aesthetics of power, propaganda, royal exemplarity, sovereignty, Louis XIV, Mémoires pour l’instruction du Dauphin, Charles Le Brun

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780226803661
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226803975.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hall Bjørnstad, author
Indiana University, Bloomington

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