The Louvre by James Gardner review — home of kings, Mona Lisa and the ‘Big Screw’ | Saturday Review

If there hadn’t been a downpour, there would have been no Solar King. Leaving his confidante Madame de Lafayette on the evening of December 5, 1637, Louis XIII of France was ambushed by a fierce storm. Versailles was too far for his carriage, so Louis sought sanctuary together with his estranged spouse Anne of Austria in her residences on the Louvre.

For 20 years there had been no romantic relations between king and queen. However what with the rain and the chilly, they retired to one of many few heated rooms within the palace: the queen’s bedchamber. 9 months later to the day — September 5, 1638 — Louis XIV, the long run “Roi Soleil”, was born. It’s becoming king conceived within the Louvre

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