Marriage of Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy

Marriage of Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy

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Title: Marriage of Louis de France, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, December 7, 1697

Author : GOD Antoine (1662 - 1727)

Creation date :

Date shown: December 7, 1697

Dimensions: Height 343 cm - Width 578 cm

Technique and other indications: oil on canvas

Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Palace of Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet / Gérard Blot Link to image

Picture reference: 81-000193 / MV2095

Marriage of Louis de France, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, December 7, 1697

© Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Palace of Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet / Gérard Blot

Publication date: February 2020

University of Evry-Val d'Essonne

Historical context

The wedding of the "Little Dauphin"

Born in Versailles on August 6, 1682, just a few weeks after the establishment of the Court, Louis of France is the grandson of Louis XIV. This canvas represents his marriage to the young Princess of Savoy on December 7, 1697. The subject is officially commissioned by Louis XIV, for a series of tapestries made by the Royal Manufacture of Gobelins and entitled The King's Story.

The marriage of the "Little Dauphin" appears on a first painting produced by Antoine Dieu from 1710-1711. A pupil of Charles Le Brun and first prize in Rome in 1686, Antoine Dieu moved away from his favorite subjects, which consisted of biblical scenes. In the same series, never woven, he made a Birth of Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy, performed in a format similar to the first. The two canvases are part of the Louis XV collection and have been kept from the beginning in Versailles.

Image Analysis

Royal wedding

The nuptial blessing takes place in the chapel of the Palace of Versailles, inaugurated in 1682 on the site of the current salon of Hercules which was built after the consecration of the new palatial chapel in 1710. The canvas represents the three arches forming the nave, sanctuary and tabernacle. The religious office is provided by the Bishop of Orleans Cambout de Coislin (1636-1706), the king's first chaplain, newly created cardinal.

Shortly before noon, the future spouses go to the chapel. The marriage certificate contained in the register of Notre-Dame parish first evokes an engagement, immediately followed by kneeling prayers suggested by the cushion placed on the floor. The exchange of consents takes place under the gaze of the sovereign and about twenty guests who turn their gaze towards the spectator or towards the hands of the spouses. The royal family is gathered behind the king: we recognize: "Monseigneur" the Grand Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, "Monsieur" Philippe of France, Duke of Orleans (1640-1701), "Madame" Henriette of England (1644 -1670), brother and sister-in-law of Louis XIV, the Duke of Chartres, Philippe d'Orléans (1674-1723) and the Prince of Condé Henri-Jules de Condé (1643-1709). The Duke of Anjou, Philippe de France (1683-1746) (future Philippe V, King of Spain) and the Duke of Berry, Charles of France (1686-1714), brothers of the Duke of Burgundy, stand behind their eldest .

Louis XIV left his prie-Dieu to advance to the foot of the tribune. Over seventy years old, he is quite overweight. He is in the front row, because the marriage of princes and princesses of blood cannot be done without his agreement. The bride is holding a fan in her left hand, with a fine lace dress and a long blue velvet coat accented with golden lilies. The Marquis de Dangeau and the Comte de Tessé are responsible for supporting her dress hem. All the protagonists are dressed in colorful and sumptuous costumes, as the Duke of Saint-Simon who attended the event confirms: “It was whoever would surpass themselves in wealth and invention; gold and silver barely sufficed; the shops of the merchants were emptied in a very few days: in a word, the most unbridled luxury dominated the court and the city, for the festival had a large crowd of spectators. "


The alliance of France and Savoy

Through this princely wedding, the painter celebrates the reconciliation between the kingdom of France and the Duchy of Savoy. This marriage has its origins in the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697). Faced with repeated attacks by Louis XIV, its European neighbors formed a defensive alliance in 1686. Threatened by France, Savoy joined it in 1690, with the opening of a new front on the side of the Alps. The following year, Duke Victor-Amédée II of Savoy invaded Dauphiné. In 1695, he now dreaded the death of Emperor Leopold Ier on northern Italy, does an about-face and begins negotiations with France. These lead to a secret treaty signed in Turin, formalized on August 29, 1696. Among the provisions of this peace, there is the project of union between Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy and the Duke of Burgundy, symbol of the link found between the two houses.

Eldest daughter of Victor-Amédée II (1666-1732) and Anne-Marie d'Orléans (1669-1728), the niece of Louis XIV, the young Savoyard princess was born on December 6, 1685, three years after her future husband . She arrived in Versailles on November 8, 1696 and the Duchess of Lude became her lady of honor. It is not until the legal age of 12 for the marriage to take place, with the addition of a consanguinity exemption and an Advent dispensation. In his diary, the Marquis de Dangeau describes the rest of the festivities: “After mass there was a great feast of the royal household in the room of the Duchess of Burgundy; the table was made of a horseshoe […] and at eight o'clock we returned to the living room at the end of the gallery, towards the apartment of the Duchess of Burgundy, from where we saw a magnificent fire. artifice which was at the end of the Swiss room. "Balls and an opera follow one another until Christmas. This public event is represented in several engravings, notably in the ’Royal Almanac. Dauphine de France in 1711, the princess died of a measles epidemic on February 12, 1712, six days before her husband. They leave two sons to France, including the future Louis XV.

  • Versailles
  • wedding
  • Louis XIV
  • Saint-Simon (Louis de Rouvroy)
  • Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy
  • Louis de France (Duke of Burgundy)
  • Dolphin
  • Savoy
  • Augsburg League
  • Gobelins factory
  • Dangeau (marquis of)


Lucien BÉLY, International relations in Europe, 17th-18th centuries, Paris, PUF, 2001.

Lucien BÉLY, Savoy between Bourbons and Habsbourg, Savoy in Europe, Proceedings of the XXXVIIIth congress of learned societies of Savoy, Moûtiers-Tarentaine, 2002, p. 225-236.

Lucien BÉLY, The Art of Peace in Europe: Birth of Modern Diplomacy 16th-18th century, Paris, PUF, 2015.

Roger DEVOS, Bernard GROSPERRIN, History of Savoy: Savoy from the Reformation to the French Revolutione, Rennes, West France, 1985.

Alexandre MARAL, The astonishing destiny of a temporary building: the royal chapel of Versailles between 1682 and 1710, Bulletin of the Research Center of the Palace of Versailles, 2011 [Online].

To cite this article

Stéphane BLOND, "Marriage of Louis de France, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie"


  • Dauphin: From 1349, the eldest son of the King of France, heir to the throne of France, bears the title of Dauphin. The wife of the Dauphin is called the Dauphine. By extension, we call "dolphin", the heir or successor of a person
  • League of Augsburg: War and conflict which opposes France to a European coalition from 1688 to 1697. For Louis XIV, it is a question of continuing a policy of annexations of territory
  • consanguinity: Relationship of kinship between descendants of a common close ancestor
  • Cardboard: Large drawing that serves as a model for the production of large-scale works: paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries.

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