By Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes, who has shocked us with entire works on topics as sweeping and intricate because the historical past of Australia (The deadly Shore
), the fashionable paintings stream (The surprise of the New
), the character of yank artwork (American Visions
), and the character of the United States itself as visible via its artwork (The tradition of Complaint
), now turns his popular severe eye to at least one of paintings history’s such a lot compelling, enigmatic, and critical figures, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. With attribute serious fervor and sure-eyed perception, Hughes brings us the tale of an artist whose existence and paintings bridged the transition from the eighteenth-century reign of the outdated masters to the early days of the nineteenth-century moderns.
With his salient ardour for the artist and the artwork, Hughes brings Goya vividly to lifestyles via stunning research of an unlimited breadth of his paintings. development upon the ancient facts that exists, Hughes tracks Goya’s improvement, as guy and artist, with no lacking a beat, from the early works commissioned by means of the Church, via his lengthy, efficient, and tempestuous profession at courtroom, to the darkly sinister and cryptic paintings he did on the finish of his existence.
In a piece that's straight away interpretive biography and cultural epic, Hughes grounds Goya firmly within the context of his time, taking us on a wild romp via Spanish historical past; from the brutality and straightforward violence of road existence to the fiery terrors of the Holy Inquisition to the grave realities of warfare, Hughes exhibits us in brilliant aspect the cultural forces that formed Goya’s paintings.
Underlying the exhaustive, severe research and the wealthy old historical past is Hughes’s personal in detail own courting to his topic. this can be a publication knowledgeable not just by means of lifelong love and learn, yet through his personal contemporary studies of mortality and loss of life. As such this can be a uniquely relocating and human ebook; with an identical relentless and fearless intelligence he has dropped at each topic he has ever tackled, Hughes right here transcends biography to carry us a wealthy and fiercely courageous ebook approximately paintings and lifestyles, love and rage, impotence and demise. this can be one genius writing at complete means approximately another—and the result's really superb.