|Louis XV of France by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, 1748|
On 10th May 1774 Louis XV died in his apartments at the Palace of Versailles. He had been taken ill on 26th April whilst visiting the Petit Trianon and within days his doctor confirmed that the king, in the fifty ninth year of his reign, was suffering from smallpox. Placed in isolation, the ailing monarch's health deteriorated swiftly despite the best efforts of physicians working under the watchful eye of his doctor, Pichault Germain de La Martinière.
|Louis XV of France by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1730|
Although he initially seemed to rally, fate had other plans in mind for the monarch and Louis suffered an agonising death, his body blackened and rotting with the infection. After being placed in his coffin and covered with alcohol and linens, the king's remains were interred in the Basilica of Saint Denis, his near six decade reign coming to a painful and unhappy end.