A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660–1715
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.