Kings, Queens: Baroque PDF Print E-mail

Kings, Queens and Royal Mistresses of Baroque Paris: 1620-1643

Louis XIII and Anne of Austria

Course Schedule:


Friday 16 Nov. 10:30 am – 12 noon – Gallery slide Lecture – Louis XIII, Anne of Austria and Cardinal Richelieu.
Friday 23 Nov. 10:30 am – 12 noon– Gallery slide Lecture – Costume and Fashions of the Baroque Age.

With Dimitri Papalexis.

Friday 30 Nov. 10:30 am – 12 noon – Visit to musée du Louvre – Painting under Louis XIII: Champaigne, Vouet, the Le Nains and Poussin. Meet by information desk under Pyramid with ticket in hand at 10:15.

Friday 7  Dec. 10:30 am – 12 noon – Gallery slide Lecture – The Regency of  Anne of Austria, childhood of Louis XIV.

Wednesday 12 Dec. – 4pm – 5:30 pm – Visit - The Church and Convent of The Val de Grâce. Meet opposite courtyard of the convent on rue St Jacques (at intersection of rue du Val de Grace). Metro: RER Port Royal (line B).



Anthony Blunt, Art and Architecture in France 1500-1700, Pelican History of Art, Penguin (latest edition).

Anthony Sutcliffe, Paris, an Architectural History, Yale University Press, 1993.

Colin Jones, Paris, Biography of a City, Penguin.


Louis XIII (1601-1643) Reign: 1610 - 1643


1600 – Henri IV marries Marie de Medici daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

1601 – Birth on 27 September in Fontainebleau of a son and Dauphin named Louis.

1602 – Birth of a daughter, Elisabeth, future wife of Philip IV of Spain.

1608 – Birth of a third son of Henri and Marie (a second son Nicolas will die in 1611) named Gaston.

1610 – On 14 May a fanatic Catholic, Ravaillac, knifes and kills Henri IV in his carriage. Louis XIII, his eldest son, is King

at the age of 9. Brought up surrounded by numerous brothers and sisters both legitimate and illegitimate (10) Louis is a cold and snobbish child conscious of his own superiority. The Regency is assumed by his mother Marie de Medici.

1614 – The King is officially adult at the age of 13. The country is governed by his mother’s favorite minister Concini.

1615 – Marriage of Louis with the Spanish princess Anne of Austria. Louis will wait for 4 years before consuming the marriage.

1617 – He is quicker in deciding to rebel against his mother’s authority and her ministers. Concini is assassinated in the Louvre. Marie and her ministers flee to Blois and raise a rebel army. Luynes is named as new prime minister.

1620 – The rebel army is defeated near Angers at Pont-de-Cé. The Béarn and Navarre are united to the French kingdom and the Catholic faith imposed leading to the wrath of the native Protestants.

1621 – Louis lays siege unsuccessfully to rebellious Montauban. Luynes dies after a short illness.

1622 – Louis is forced to compromise and re-instate the edict of Nantes (of Protestant toleration).

1624 – Louis tries out a new prime minister, cardinal Richelieu, who will restore royal prestige and an efficient government of the kingdom.

1628 – One of the main Protestant bastions, the port of La Rochelle who had dared call the English for help, is taken.

1629 – Freedom of worship is reaffirmed but the Protestants loose all political privileges and their fortified bastions.

1630 – As head of the Catholic party in court Marie de Medici plots against Richelieu and his policy of toleration. Thinking she has persuaded Louis to fire his Prime Minister she rejoices with her followers at the Palais du Luxembourg. This is the “journée des dupes”. The same day Louis confirms his confidence in Richelieu and Marie is exiled to Flanders.

1631 – Richelieu founds the first official newspaper as an instrument of state propaganda, La Gazette.

1634 – France occupies the independent duchy of Lorraine on her eastern border.

1635 – Richelieu in his attempt to regularize the French language and garner support among writers and intellectuals founds the Académie française. Beginning of war with Spain in the Low Countries.

1638 – After 22 years of marriage Anne is at last pregnant. Thanking heaven for this miracle Louis officially consecrates his Kingdom to the Holy Virgin. The day of the Assumption, 15 August, becomes the official French holy day. Louis-Dieudonné, future Louis XIV, is born on 5 September.

1639 – A rebellion against heavy new taxes is violently repressed in Normandy.

1640 – Arras is taken from the Spanish consolidating the northern frontier. Anne gives birth to a second son, Philippe.

1642 – Another anti-royal plot hatched in court and as always involving the King’s younger brother Gaston d’Orléans, is revealed, leading to the execution of the King’s favorite Cinq-Mars.  Richelieu dies of exhaustion.

1643 – Brilliant French victory against the Spanish in Rocroi. Death of Louis XIII. The kingdom has been much extended but the interior political situation remains fragile and uncertain.



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