The Easel

British Baroque — Power and Illusion review: The magnificent emergence of a new political era

After the austerity of Cromwell, Britain opted to restore the monarchy. Welcome the extravagant Baroque! From there opinions diverge. Some critics are not bothered by paintings awash with satin and silk and “outrageous pomp”. Others definitely are bothered: “the art of power, dominance and shagging your cousins. Pompous, over-the-top, ridiculous. Call it royalty, call it parliament, it’s all power, and it’s all ugly.”