The 17th century is famous for its rich design styles. The Jacobean period saw luxurious and exotic materials brought to Britain for the first time. The Restoration was a time of great artistic opulence and flamboyance. Meanwhile the Baroque style brought European luxury to British design.
The Baroque style, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, began in Italy and quickly spread to the rest of Europe. Characterised by luxury, drama and ornate detail, the style impacted upon all areas of art and design. In 2010, the V&A hosted the major exhibition ‘Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence’..
The 17th century was a period of great turbulence in British history and this was reflected in art and design. The period began with the ending of the Tudor dynasty and the rise of the Stuarts. In the middle of the century, the Civil War and execution of Charles I saw Puritanism take hold. After Charles II's restoration to the throne in 1660, a new period of decadence began.