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.
Closed Exhibition – William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain
22 March – 13 July 2014. This exhibition explored the world of William Kent, the most prominent architect and designer in early Georgian Britain, and how his versatility and artistic inventiveness set the style for an age when Britain defined itself as a new nation and developed an Italian-inspired style.
James 'Athenian' Stuart (1713–1788)
James 'Athenian' Stuart is a compelling figure in the history of British design. Widely recognised for his central role in pioneering Neo-Classicism, Stuart developed his influential career across various fields: interior decoration, sculpture, furnishing, metalwork and architecture.
Robert Adam: Neo-Classical Architect and Designer
Robert Adam (1728–92) was one of the most important British architects working in the Neo-Classical style. He was a main force in the development of a unified style that extended beyond architecture and interiors to include both the fixed and moveable objects in a room.
Design for a Vaulted Ceiling, by Vincenzo Brenna, about 1775
This highly finished and elegantly drawn design was executed by the Italian architect, interior decorator and decorative painter Vincenzo Brenna (1745-1820) around 1776. It represents the vault of the Eagle Room of the Domus Aurea, the Roman palace built by Emperor Nero shortly after the great fire of Rome in AD 64.