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Medal - Louis XIV

Louis XIV

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1680 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bertinet, Francois (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 5, The Friends of the V&A Gallery, case CA10

Comparatively little is known of Francesco Bertinetti, also known as François Bertinet, an Italian medalist active in France from about 1653 to 1686. He died sometime after 1706. Born in Ostia (near Rome), he travelled to Venice aged 22 and on to Paris. He was private secretary to Nicolas Fouquet, Minister of Finances in France 1653-61 under Louis XIV, for whom it has been suggested that he worked in a diplomatic role, perhaps even as a secret agent. Fouquet fell from favour and was imprisoned by the King from 1661 until he died. Bertinet was also imprisoned for eight years due to his association with Fouquet.

Between 1671 and 1687 Bertinetti made several bronze portrait medals of Louis XIV, one of them during his time in prison. There are several examples in the National collection of medals in France (Cabinet des Medailles de la Bibliotheque Nationale de France, rue Richelieu, Paris). The V&A medal features the best known of Bertinet’s portraits of the King, wearing a most impressive large wig. It exists in a number of versions, and sometimes these medals were incorporated into objects of a later date (for example on a clock in the V&A collection, M.4-1903).

The reverse of this medal shows the Royal cipher and crown in very low relief.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1680 (made)


Bertinet, Francois (artist)

Materials and Techniques



Diameter: 16.7 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm maximum

Object history note

Bought for £12, in 1864.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, bust of Louis XIV, by François Bertinet, French, ca. 1680

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1864. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 47




Coins & Medals; Royalty


Sculpture Collection

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