‘Barcelona Novel·la Històrica’: the artist as a fictional character

This edition of the Barcelona Novel·la Històrica focuses not only on the city, but also on the art geniuses of all times, creators of random life and an immortal work, turned into protagonists of fictions that drink from reality

The Barcelona Novel·la Històrica (Barcelona Historical Novel) series will take place on Monday, November 5, and for five days, will be a space for reflection and dialogue about authors and works that have taken renowned artists around which to build a fiction plot. In the words of the curator of the cycle, Fèlix Riera, “the new edition of Barcelona Novela Histórica lets us to approach authors who have decided to take as central characters in their novels artists who have marked our cultural and social reality through their work. Pablo Picasso, Josep Pla, Nicolas Poussin, Camille Claudel, Salvador Dalí, El Bosco, Frida Kahlo or Leonardo Da Vinci have been protagonists of novels that offer us a new way of approaching their personal and artistic circumstances”. From November 5 to 10, debate tables are planned among creators around influential contemporary art figures such as Frida Kahlo (image of the promotional poster this year), Picasso, Dürer, Josep Pla or the binomial Gala-Dalí . The colloquiums of the inaugural session will take place in a space such as Fundació Tàpies, which allows “explaining authors and creators located within the scope of museum references”, according to Riera.

This edition of Barcelona Novel·la Històrica does not focus only on the city, but on the geniuses of art of all times, creators of life at random and with an immortal work, turned into protagonists of the fictions that they take inspiration from reality. Once again, the authors of these novels that play with history participate in the event, ready to uncover the secrets of literary creation. Thus, this Monday 5 begins the cycle at 18:30 hours talking about creation, at a table with José María Ridao, writer and diplomat, and Victoria Cirlot, writer, philologist and translator; all moderated by Fèlix Riera, curator of Barcelona Novel·la Històrica. Also, the program includes:

  • monday, november 5 · 7.30 p.m.
    Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Antonin Artaud and visionary art
    Fundació Antoni Tàpies. Aragó, 255
    Participants: Jordi Soler, novelist, and María José González Madrid, PhD in History of Art
    Moderator: Valerie Miles, editor, writer and literary researcher
  • tuesday, november 6 · 4.45 p.m.
    Meeting point: In front of La Pedrera. Passeig de Gràcia, 92
  • Picasso In strange hands
    Biblioteca Jaume Fuster. Auditori. Pl. de Lesseps, 20-22
    Participants: Francesc Miralles, author of El secret de Picasso; Esteban Martín, author of El pintor de sombras, and Elías Gaston Membrado, president of Centro Picasso
    Moderator: Victoria Combalía, critic and art consultant


One more year, the Saló de Cent of the Ajuntament de Barcelona is the setting for the award of the Barcino Historical Novel International Prize, an award that recognizes the literary value of the work of an author who has cultivated the historical novel. This year, Leonardo Padura, one of the most relevant contemporary authors of LatAm, is the winner.

In this sixth edition, the jury is formed by Enric Calpena, writer; Sergi Doria, journalist; Óscar López, journalist; Care Santos, writer, and Fèlix Riera, in his capacity as commissar of Barcelona Novel·la Històrica. Previously, they had received this award Lindsey Davis, Santiago Posteguillo, Simon Scarrow, Christian Jacq and Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

LLeonardo Padura (Havana, 1955), before receiving the Princess of Asturias Award for Letters in 2015 for the whole of his work, had achieved international recognition with the series of detective novels starring detective Mario Conde: Pasado perfecto, Vientos de cuaresma, Máscaras, Paisaje de otoño, Adiós, Hemingway, La neblina del ayer and La cola de la serpienteHe is also the author of La novela de mi vida, El hombre que amaba a los perros (Premio de la Crítica en Cuba), Herejes (Premio de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza), the book of short stories Aquello estaba desando ocurrir, and the novelization from the script Regreso a Ítaca.