If you’ve been watching  Waldemar Januszczak’s three-part series on the Baroque, on ABC1, you’ll no doubt be disappointed there are no more opulent episodes of OTT arty eye candy to look forward too. If you missed the whole thing you should be even more disappointed, but don’t despair! Either way the Arts Collection is here to satisfy your craving for all things baroque.

The Genius in the design

William Morrow, 2005 William Morrow, 2005

Western architecture would have been significantly poorer if Bernini and Borromini had just got along. The intense rivalry between these two prodigious talents resulted in some of Rome’s most beautiful and inspiring buildings.

Baroque, 1620-1800 : style in the age of magnificence

Victoria and Albert Museum, 2009 Victoria and Albert Museum, 2009

More is more. This lavish publication from the V&A museum gives a broad survey of the first truly global art movement. It is richly illustrated and covers everything from fireworks to jewellery, costumes to garden design, churches, palaces and fine dining. You can find out more about the exhibition that inspired this book on the V&A website.



Princeton University Press, 2003 Princeton University Press, 2003


Why stop at one? This very readable book approaches the Baroque thematically, with chapters dedicated to Ecstasies, Angels, Vanities and Affetti. Ferrante Ferranti’s  photography really makes this book, presenting both iconic and less familiar works in a new and creative light. Full page images move peripheral details to center stage, and wide shots add new context to well know works. The image of Cerberus (p.236) is a beautiful example.

Bernini and the birth of Baroque portrait sculpture

J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008 J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008

Gian Lorenzo Bernini reinvented sculpture for the Baroque age, with works of extraordinary virtuosity, psychological depth and sensitivity. The cover is adorned with a detail of Bernini’s most personal work, a mesmerising portrait of his lover Costanza Bonarelli.

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