British Baroque: Power & Illusion



ISBN: 9781849766814 Category:

Tabitha Barber, Tim Bachelor


From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the late Stuart period was a time of change for Britain. This book, which accompanies a major exhibition at Tate Britain, London, explores how art and architecture was used by the crown, the church, and the aristocracy to project images of power and status in an age when the power of the monarchy was being questioned.

Including the work of the leading painters of the day-including Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller, and James Thornhill-it celebrates ambitious grand-scale portraits, the persuasive illusion of mural painting, the brilliant woodcarving of Grinling Gibbons, and magnificent architecture by Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, and John Vanbrugh for St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court and Blenheim Palace – the great buildings of the age. Here is the opportunity to encounter a rich, sophisticated, but largely forgotten era of art history.

An introductory essay will be followed by texts covering each of the nine sections of the exhibition:

– Monarchy Restored
– The Restoration Court
– Art and Religion
– Illusion and Deception
– Palaces and Country Mansions
– Baroque Murals
– The Beauty Room
– Triumph and Glory
– The Age of Politics

With contributions by Tabitha Barber, Tim Batchelor, Lydia Hamlett, Anthony Geraghty, Dr James Legard, Amy Lim and David Taylor.

Additional information

Weight 794 g
Dimensions 21.2 x 26.5 cm
Publisher name Tate Publishing
Publication date 1 May 2020
Number of pages 176
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 21.2 x 26.5 cm
Weight 794 g


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Tabitha Barber is Curator, British Art 1550-1750 at Tate