Louis XIV, who occupied the French throne from 1643 to 1715, went down in history as the "Sun King". During his reign he made his court at Versailles into a model which many European rulers sought to emulate. However, his efforts to achieve a European hegemony also contributed to the fact that European politics in the late 17th and early 18th century were dominated by warfare. The so-called "Grand Alliance" formed in 1686 at Augsburg by the Emperor, Spain, Sweden, Saxony, Bavaria, the Palatinate and a number of smaller powers was designed to prevent further French expansion, either through diplomacy or by force.
Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), bust of Louis XIV (1638–1715), white marble, 1665, location of the original: Diana Salon, Versailles, photographer: Louis le Grand, 2006; source: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LouisXIV-Bernini.jpg.