Baroque Baroque: The Culture of Excess Stephen Calloway

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Now available for the first time in paperback, this extraordinary book examines the 'culture of excess' in all its twentieth-century manifestations. Fashion, film, photography, design and interior decoration - all feature in Stephen Calloway's meticulous coverage of the colourful, the opulent and the theatrical.

The author examines early examples of Baroque excess - by the Sitwells, Cecil Beaton, Angus McBean and others - as well as the darker Baroque spirit of the wartime Neo-Romantics and film-makers such as Fellini and Jarman. Tracing the Baroque tendency all the way into the 1990s, he shows how ideas have been cross-fertilized, providing links between such unlikely bedfellows as Leon Bakst and Luis Buñuel, Coco Chanel and Nigel Coates, Liberace and Lacroix.

Illustrated with a wealth of photographs, this book provides a celebration that is truly Baroque in substance and in spirit.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • Illustrations: 162 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714838601

Stephen Calloway is a writer, journalist, lecturer, designer and consultant on historic interiors. He was formerly Curator of Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

"The most provocative and stimulating style book of the year."—The New York Times

"Baroque Baroque is a carefully written and wonderfully illustrated book... It helps to define the notion of Englishness itself."—The Times

"The sort of book that could itself become a landmark in taste."—Country Life