When Jean-Baptiste van Loo painted Louis XV around 1727—the exact date is not known—the king was a teenager, officially an adult, crowned king and married to the eight year older Marie Leszczyńska, but the actual control of the kingdom was still in the hands of his chief minister, Cardinal de Fleury.

Jean-Baptiste van Loo was the grandson of Jacob van Loo, who fled from the Dutch Republic to France in 1660, and a sought-after portraitist in his time.

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