Historical and Commemorative Medals
 Collection of Benjamin Weiss


DUFOUR, Jean-Baptiste / MOLART, Michel: France, 1666, Bronze, 70 mm
Obv: Bust of Louis XIV with head of medusa on cuirass     LVD. XIIII. D. G. FR. ET. NAV. REX.
Rev: A tomb in the form of a pyramid with a portrait of Anne of Austria. Science on the left with her foot on a globe, and Religion on the right holding a model of the church of Val-de-Grace.    MATRI. LVDOVICI. MAGNI
Signed:  MOLART. F. (on reverse)
Ref: Obverse said to be the work of Jean-Baptiste Du Four (see Med. Ill, i, 514/157); Haller 77 ?; Gerber I, 12?;  Jacquiot 211/301 (rev); Weiss BW176

Louis XIV was the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.
Anne of Austria (16011666) was the daughter of King Philip III of Spain. She married the French king Louis XIII in1615. Anne was neglected by her husband and sought the society of the court intriguer, Mme de Chevreuse. Anne's indiscretion, especially her flirtation with the duke of Buckingham, injured her reputation. Her loyalty to Spain and her strong Roman Catholic background made her suspect after France's alliance (1635) with the Protestant nations in the Thirty Years War. This led to the accusation by the French minister of state, Cardinal Richelieu, of treasonable correspondence with Spain, although she was eventually pardoned. Contrary to the expressed wish of her husband before his death, in 1643 she was granted by parliament full powers as regent for her son Louis XIV. She entrusted the government to Cardinal Mazarin, whom she supported during the wars of the Fronde in France. After Mazarin's death in1661, her son excluded her from participation in affairs of state. She died in 1666, the event commemorated by this medal.
Anne of Austria is a central figure of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.)

LINK to biography of Anne of Austria (from Web Gallery of Art)