With fashions such as Baroque and Rococo, the 18th century saw an increase in opulenct and luxurious design. Meanwhile artists and architects were also looking to the past, both Medieval times and the classical world, and to new trade partners in East Asia..
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’..
Style Guide: Medieval Revivals
The Medieval Revivals style was inspired by architecture and decorative arts from 1000-1600. The interest in Norman, Gothic and Jacobean styles reflected a romantic nostalgia for Britain's past. By the 1790s it had become an important alternative to classical styles.
18th-Century Interior Design
The 18th century saw the rise of a number of highly influential interior designers and architects such as William Kent, James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, Robert Adam and Horace Walpole. A number of rooms from 18th-century houses have been reconstructed in the V&A’s British Galleries.