In lecture this week, we discussed how Marie de’ Medici sought to convey positive messages about the roles she had played as Queen and then Queen Mother of France through the paintings she commissioned from Peter Paul Rubens. Medals were another pictorial medium through which important elites in 17th-century France sought to influence their images and win the propaganda war.
Examine the medals from the reign of Louis XIII currently held in the Louvre collection (via the link on Gauchospace). Then, choose 2-3 of these medals and discuss the particular messages about the person or people represented on them and the images on the reverse sides that possessors or viewers were ideally supposed to form. Was there anything specific about the year(s) in which these medals were struck that determined how they appeared? Do you see any notable differences in interpretation between them, or any overriding similarities? Ultimately, what do these medals help us understand about France during the reign of Louis XIII?
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