chapter  7
22 Pages

The Ballet d’Antoine de Pluvinel and The Maneige Royal

ByPatrice Franchet d’Espèrey

Magnificent entries, complete with triumphal arches, processions and fireworks, were staged in Burgos and in Bordeaux, where the marriage ceremony between Louis XIII and his Spanish bride had taken place a few days earlier. The iconographical vocabulary used for the wedding celebrations of Louis XIII and Anne d'Autriche had wide-ranging implications. On the one hand, it appeared to describe the event in terms of love, peace, and prosperity, and to herald an era ofentente cordiale with Spain. On the other, it served to convey the French desire for political hegemony in Europe. The wedding celebrations of 1615 turned out to be the battleground between conflicting beliefs and aspirations, which were conveyed through themes and motifs that were sufficiently ambivalent so as to mean whatever was required. In Morilhon's description of the entry into Bordeaux, Anne d'Autriche was identified with Pandora, no longer sent to plague mankind, but as its benefactor.