London has gone totally Baroque
Planning a summer trip to London? If you get there before 19 July, you'll be able to visit Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition is just one of the many London events that will celebrate Baroque style in art, music and culture this year.
Baroque '09 got off to an early start with The Duchess, a film about the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), which stars Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Charlotte Rampling. The beautiful Georgiana was related to Diana, Princess of Wales (born Lady Diana Spencer), who was descended from Georgiana's brother, the 2nd Earl Spencer. The film-makers draw many parallels between the lives of the two women and their husbands. She was charming, he was boring; she was politically active, he was aristocratically aloof; Georgiana was sexually frustrated, while her husband carried on a public affair... and all in beautiful Baroque style.
Other London Baroque '09 events include concerts and operas commemorating the works of Henry Purcell, who was born in London in 1659, and of George Frideric Handel, who died there in 1759. Both are buried in Westminster Abbey.
Travel tip: The Victoria and Albert Museum on Cromwell Road is just a ten-minute walk from Knightsbridge, Hyde Park and the West End. It is five minutes from the South Kensington Tube Station, which is on the Piccadilly, Circle and District Lines. The buses C1, 14, 74 and 414 stop outside the museum's Cromwell Road entrance.