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Nicolas II de Sainctot


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 899

Sainctot served the court in various capacities—including as Master of Ceremonies of France, as he is portrayed here (with the baton denoting that office)—before becoming Introducer of Ambassadors in 1691. One of two officials who performed the role (alternating biannually), he was in charge of all diplomatic ceremonial duties. Sainctot arranged an ambassador’s formal entry into Paris, public audience with the king, and farewell audience at the end of his service. He also conducted diplomats to the king’s lever (ritual awakening) and was present each Tuesday when they were received at Versailles.

Nicolas II de Sainctot, Oil on canvas, French

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© RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, photo by Christophe Fouin