By Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes, who has surprised us with accomplished works on matters as sweeping and complicated because the historical past of Australia (The deadly Shore), the trendy paintings move (The surprise of the New), the character of yankee paintings (American Visions), and the character of the US itself as visible via its paintings (The tradition of Complaint), now turns his popular serious eye to at least one of paintings history’s so much compelling, enigmatic, and critical figures, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. With attribute severe fervor and sure-eyed perception, Hughes brings us the tale of an artist whose lifestyles and paintings bridged the transition from the eighteenth-century reign of the previous 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 astonishing research of an unlimited breadth of his paintings. construction upon the historic proof that exists, Hughes tracks Goya’s improvement, as guy and artist, with no lacking a beat, from the early works commissioned by way of the Church, via his lengthy, effective, and tempestuous occupation at courtroom, to the darkly sinister and cryptic paintings he did on the finish of his existence.
In a piece that's right 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 simple violence of road lifestyles to the fiery terrors of the Holy Inquisition to the grave realities of warfare, Hughes indicates us in vivid aspect the cultural forces that formed Goya’s paintings.
Underlying the exhaustive, severe research and the wealthy old history is Hughes’s personal in detail own dating to his topic. this can be a booklet proficient not just by way of lifelong love and examine, yet through his personal fresh studies of mortality and dying. As such this can be a uniquely relocating and human publication; with an identical relentless and fearless intelligence he has delivered to each topic he has ever tackled, Hughes right here transcends biography to carry us a wealthy and fiercely courageous e-book approximately paintings and existence, love and rage, impotence and dying. this can be one genius writing at complete means approximately another—and the result's actually outstanding.