Robert Hughes has been visiting Barcelona since the 1960s and he has written an epic tribute to a city he loves. He tells the story of the growth of this Mediterranean metropolis from its origins as a Roman colonial town to the twentieth century, examining its relationship to the rest of Catalunya, to Spain and to the wider European world. Much of Barcelona's history is reflected in its architecture and Hughes builds his history around the stones of the city but his account is also rich in political and military drama and the actions of remarkable personalities. He introduces the reader to Barcelona's painting, poetry, folklore, language, food and much more. He also addresses the paradoxical question of Catalan identity, a people simultaneously so Spanish and yet so un-Spanish. Hughes's Barcelona has become, as it deserves to be, the standard work on the city in English.
About the Author
Robert Hughes, art critic of Time magazine and twice winner of the American College Art Association's F. J. Mather Award for distinguished criticism, is author of The Shock of the New, and of Heaven and Hell in Western Art. He is also author of the acclaimed Nothing If Not Critical, a work on Frank Auerbach; Barcelona, and Culture Of Complaint, essays on the fraying of America. Robert Hughes died in August 2012.
"Nobody has ever represented [Barcelona's] character more powerfully, or illustrated its claims to self-destiny more persuasively, than has Robert Hughes in this monumental work" -- Jan Morris * Los Angeles Times * "Whether untangling the unlikely legends of Wilfred the Hairy or tangling with the likes of Antoni Gaudi, Hughes has shaped Catalan art, architecture and politics into the ultimate guidebooks" -- David Newnham * Guardian * "A wonderful book, by far the best yet to have appeared in the current flood of books on Spain - and one that fills a genuine gap" -- Martin Gayford * Sunday Telegraph * "Barcelona is unlikely to be rewarded with a better history than this. Robert Hughes is a master of the big canvas, scooping up the detail of social, economic, political and artistic life and producing images of captivating richness" * Sunday Times *