The first ever exhibition dedicated to British Baroque culture opens at Tate Britain this spring.

 

 

Art and architecture from this overlooked era go on show from February 5  to April 19.

The late Stuart period, from the restoration of Charles ll in 1660 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714, was a time of momentous change for the country.

British Baroque Power and Illusion explores the magnificent art and architecture of the time.

Works by leading artists of the day will be featured, including Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and James Thornhill.

 

New discoveries

The exhibition will explore the connection between art and power.

It will also include many new discoveries and works not seen in public before.

Many of the works of art are on loan from the stately homes for which they were made originally.

 

 

Splendour of the court

The display starts with portraits of King Charles II and idealised representations of his power.

It looks at the splendour and colour of the Restoration court, as well as the question marks over its morality.

Portraits by Lely, including Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland with her son, as the Virgin and Child 1664, (pictured above left) illustrated the important position held by royal mistresses.

 

St Paul’s

Works by the great architects of the age: Wren, Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh are also featured.

They were responsible for some of the beautiful and lasting buildings of the period such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and Blenheim Palace.

With war and politics dominating the reigns of William III and Anne, the exhibition also includes heroic equestrian portraiture and panoramic battle scenes.

 

For more information about the exhibition at Tate Britain, visit the website: www.tate.org.uk