Colbert, Jean Baptiste. Born in Rheims, 1619. A distinguished French statesman, minister of finance in the reign of Louis XIV. His whole life was devoted to financial and fiscal reforms, and to the encouragement of commerce and manufactures. To him the kingdom was indebted for the enlargement of its navy, for the acquisition of many of its foreign possessions, and for a large number of internal improvements. Colbert instituted the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and also the Academies of Science and of Architecture. The Gardens of the Tuileries, the Hotel des Invalides, the fašade of the Louvre, and several of the quays along the Seine, were all the work of Colbert. Died 1683.