The Golden Age, Redux
2016-19 Oil on Italian Linen 120 x 120cm
When you strip away the pomp and palaces, being a King is just a job. A kind of CEO if you like. Albeit one awarded at conception. And like any job, periodically performance reviews are required. Sure, historically many of these reviews also involved violence, revolution and the severing of heads.
So its worth looking at one of the guys at the apex of the Golden Age who was considered great at this job. Because in fact Louis XIV made some pretty questionable business decisions. Like moving the entire court from the Louvre to Versailles, thereby severing any semblance of connection to the common people. And he got away with it too: conveniently dying naturally before a day of reckoning.
Maybe it was because they got the job by birth rather than talent, but instead of making the necessary prudent financial cutbacks, his descendents chose to emulate his high water mark of reckless indulgence. And when the time came for their performance review, they lost their heads.
They didn’t really believe in that three warnings shtick back then.