The perfect introduction to the city's architectural heritage, Barcelona Sketchbook gives visitors and residents insight into a wealth of sights, both grand and intimate in scale. Many facets of the Catalonia capital and surroundings are recorded here, as Graham Byfield strolls with his sketchpad through the Ramblas, the glories of Antoni Gaudí, the great ceremonial buildings, and cafés and parks full of character. On the way, with a few pencil strokes and splashes of watercolour, he captures scenes of daily life, as well as a plethora of architectural wonders dating from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona in the Middle Ages. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it continued to be an important city as an economic and administrative centre and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today a major tourist destination being one of the world's most visited cities. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is also an important port, has hosted two International Exhibitions and is known for its successful Summer Olympics in 1992.
Accompanying the paintings and sketches are observations and notes handwritten by the artist, as well as a learned and informative introduction to Barcelona and its various areas by heritage expert Marcus Binney .