On the 25th of October 1722, Louis XV was crowned King of France in the Cathedral Notre Dame de Reims. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Louis XV’s coronation, the Maison de Champagne de Venoge has commissioned Peruvian artist Juan Carlos Carrillo to create a unique work in homage to the great French king. A bronze statue of Louis XV that decorate the courtyard of de Venoge’s premises on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay.
Louis XV, who reigned over France from 1715 to 1774, was the monarch of the Age of Enlightenment. It was a time of prosperity in which France enjoyed great influence around the world and the King, open-minded and far-sighted, would play a major role in securing Champagne’s destiny. With a decree dated May 25, 1728, he authorised wines from this region, and this region alone, to be sold and transported by the bottle rather than the barrel. This marked the birth of champagne because it is in the bottle that the carbon dioxide is produced, thus giving wines from Champagne their unique bubbles. This decree, designed specifically to boost development and fine tune in-bottle second fermentation, was also the first to guarantee the origin and quality of wine from Champagne. Ever since, champagne has enjoyed consistent success; once it began being exported, it became a luxury product consumed by nobles and at courts across Europe.
Champagne de Venoge had already acknowledged the major role the monarch played in Champagne’s history by naming its rarest cuvée Louis XV. So it was only natural that Gilles Morisson de la Bassetière, CEO of Maison de Venoge, decided to celebrate the tri-centenary of Louis XV’s coronation with a magnificent bronze statue by the sculptor Juan Carlos Carrillo. The Peruvian artist trained at the Venice Academy of Fine Art before settling in Chalon-en-Champagne. Thanks to his classic training, he is able to follow the 18th century style for this full-size sculpture. The monarch is represented comfortably seated in an armchair, with a champagne flute in one hand and, in the other, a quill, as if he had just signed the famous 1728 law. A second armchair at his side enable visitors to clink glasses with the King and take away a special souvenir of their trip to de Venoge. This statue enjoys a spot in the centre of the main courtyard of the House’s mansion, itself in the Louis XV style, a majestic setting for this work of art honouring the sovereign’s memory.