Over the Top with Everything They’d Got: British Baroque at Tate Britain

The new show at Tate Britain, British Baroque: Power and Illusion starts in another epoch when our relationship with Europe was a tad strained, let us say, and ends at the point when a German prince who spoke not a word of English was invited – if not begged – to take over the English throne. You’d almost think Tate Britain had timed this show deliberately.

Fortune’s Favours: ‘Sir Richard Wallace the Collector’ at the Wallace Collection, London

How to typify the Wallace? Can you, indeed? In spirit it’s maybe close to the passion of a collector such as Sir John Soane, who also founded his own public museum (there is something very English about this kind of obsession – think of the Ashmolean in Oxford, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge). It’s something like the Frick in New York, only bigger, better, wider-ranging. There’s not an item in it that doesn’t have some claim to be exceptional – rare beyond belief if not unique, superlatively made, exquisitely beautiful.