Louis XIV of France, who reigned from 1654 until 1715, considered himself not only an absolute monarch, but the absolute arbiter of taste. He assembled the finest artisans and artists to furnish and decorate his lavish palace at Versailles. France became Europe's hub of fine and decorative arts, and throughout the eighteenth century Europe continued to look to France as the epitome of elegance. However, the glittering luxury of the aristocrats hid the suffering and inequality of the lower classes, and the old regime of the Bourbons would eventually be toppled by the French Revolution.
Here are some of the items in the Cleveland Museum of Art from the era of Louis and his successors.
This cabinet and clock were built around 1690 by André Charles Boulle, who was appointed as the cabinet maker to King Louis XIV,