We think of Christmas decorations as a Victorian invention, but they actually link us back to the baroque age – when bling and glitz formed a stairway to heaven
It's the time of year when the baroque makes a comeback. Angels are everywhere, garlands are festooned about the place, and everything that can be decorated, is.
We tend to think of Christmas decorations as a 19th-century idea. In Britain, the first Christmas tree was installed by Queen Charlotte in 1800, and the definitive Victorian Christmas image of the Queen and Prince Consort standing with their children around their tree appeared on the cover of the Illustrated London News in December 1848, launching the German-invented Christmas tree and its attendant decorations into English-speaking popular culture.