Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Louis XIV

Son of Louis XIII (1601-1643, King from 1610) and Anne of Austria. Became King of France in 1643, at the age of five. The powerful Cardinal Jules Mazarin (1602-1661), who supervised his political education, served as his tutor and governed France. Louis XIV did not exercise actual power until Mazarin's death. Formed a team of able collaborators, including Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), with whom he reorganized the machinery of State, concentrating power in the hands of the monarchy. Waged many wars that enabled him to extend the boundaries of his kingdom. Because of his striking successes and France's power and cultural prestige under his reign, he was dubbed the Sun King.