British Baroque: Power and Illusion

April 7 2020

Image of British Baroque: Power and Illusion

Picture: Tate via. The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Tate’s outstanding new exhibition British Baroque: Power and Illusion was one of the recent casualties of the corona virus lockdown. Although the show was due to run until 19th April 2020, it seems unlikely that it will reopen before any lockdown is lifted. This is an enormous shame, as all images I have seen of it make it appear like a true feast for the eyes. 

One of the most intriguing projects associated with the exhibition was the restoration the famous eight Petworth ‘Beauties’. These seven full length paintings by Michael Dahl, and one by Godfrey Kneller respectively, were reduced in size by the 3rd Earl of Egremont in the 1820s. The National Trust, who now care for the paintings, decided to embark on an ambitious programme for their restoration. Fortunately, the Courtauld Institute have shared a lecture recently given by Richard Ashbourne and Katya Belaia of the National Trust detailing this fascinating work.

If like me you didn’t get the chance to see the exhibition before the Tate shut its doors, then there is some consolation to be had. Due to the power of social media, the exhibition’s AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award researcher Amy Lim has been posting daily virtual tours of each room via her Twitter page. These also include behind the scenes images that you wouldn’t usually get to see. Well worth flicking through if you enjoy sumptuous baroque works of art as much as I do.

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