My research investigates aristocratic art patronage and its relationship to the later Stuart courts. It questions whether the erosion of the monarch's political power during this period was reflected in matters of artistic taste and commissioning. To what extent did the crown relinquish its role as the arbiter of taste, and to whom did this leadership pass? My research centres on case studies of three significant aristocratic art patrons: the fifth earl and countess of Exeter, the first duke and duchess of Devonshire, and the sixth duke and duchess of Somerset. Defining 'art' in a broad sense, I consider architecture and gardens, fine and decorative arts and interiors, situating them in their wider artistic, political and geographic contexts.
Under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, I am co-supervised by Tabitha Barber of Tate. My research is supporting the forthcoming exhibition at Tate Britain, 'Baroque in Britain', 5 February - 19 April 2020.