Under the longest reigning king in French history, Paris became the most important print producer in Europe, a position it maintained until the end of the 19th century. This extraordinary development was fueled by official policies that aimed to elevate the entire spectrum of the fine and decorative arts. Prints were at once a means of communication, a propaganda tool, and an art form in ever-increasing demand. Printmakers and print publishers produced hundreds of thousands of works on paper in a century that was as hungry for imagery as ours is today.

Propaganda was an essential characteristic of print production. But propaganda refers to more than images of the king’s likeness, victories, virtues, and royal festivals, which were most effectively disseminated through etchings and engravings. It also refers to a broader strategy promoted by the king himself: France would be a model for the rest of Europe. With the help of prints, allies and enemies alike would bear witness to the unmatched refinement of French technical skill, aesthetics, and taste. On the tercentenary of the death of Louis XIV, this exhibition demonstrates the significance of an art that attained unparalleled sophistication and influence. 

This exhibition was organized by the Getty Research Institute in special collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France.



June 16 - September 6, 2015

An advance, timed-entry ticket is required

Free ticket to The Villa weblink

All Saturdays closing time is 9pm




The Getty Villa / Getty Research Institute

17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (CLICK TO LAUNCH MAP)



The Getty Villa / Getty Research Institute exhibition