The Tate Britain will be running an Exhibition on 'British Baroque: Power and Illusion' until 19 April 2020.
This exhibition has been supported by Amy Lim, a DPhil candidate in the Faculty. She is in her third year of a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Faculty of History and The Tate Britain, and it's the first time that Oxford and Tate have worked together in this way. She is co-supervised by Dr Hannah Smith in the History Faculty, and Tabitha Barber at the Tate Britain who is the exhibition curator. This Collaborative Doctoral Award was set up specifically to support the exhibition. Her research has informed its development and she has also contributed essays to the catalogue.
This is the first time that Tate has staged a show devoted to the later 17th century and the first to explore baroque art in Britain. It will be a chance to encounter a rich, sophisticated but overlooked era of art history. Many of the works will be on display for the first time - some borrowed from the stately homes they have hung in since they were made.
From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the late Stuart period was a time of momentous change for Britain. From the royal court as the brilliant epicentre of the nation’s cultural life to the rise of party politics, the exhibition will look at the magnificence of art and architecture as an expression of status and influence.
This exhibition includes the work of the leading painters of the day – including Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and James Thornhill. It celebrates grand-scale portraiture, the wonder and artifice of trompe l’oeil, the emotional persuasion of religious spaces and the awe-inspiring impact of baroque mural painting. Throughout, the show considers the use of art to convey power, however distant the illusion sometimes was from reality.