1632-1687

In 1661, Lully became a French citizen and was named Master of the King's Music. The following year he married the daughter of Michel Lambert, a prominent singer and composer of vocal music at the French court. They had six surviving children, and Lully seems to have been a good father and provider even while having numerous extramarital activities with both men and women.

Lully was ruthless in his pursuit of power and used his influence with the king to eliminate potential rivals through the establishment of monopolies over stage music. Perhaps as a result, his enemies spread stories concerning his sexual exploits. Almost certainly many of these stories were true, but Lully was discreet enough that the king could overlook his activities.

Homosexual activity was a capital offense in seventeenth-century France, but the death penalty was only sporadically imposed. A number of the nobility at Versailles, including the king's brother Philippe, formed a homosexual subculture, and Lully had close ties with them. While the king disapproved of homosexuality, he loved his brother and was unwilling to exile, or otherwise punish, these nobles.  [link]

A painted portrait of Lully, with a very long curly wig.