It has been a week where giants toppled - first Gore Vidal, now Robert Hughes, who died on 6 August. Sydney-born Hughes made his name initially as an art critic for Time magazine, but struck out in a new direction with his magnificent convict history, The Fatal Shore. The book won the Age Book of the Year Award in 1987, in the non-fiction category.Hughes was awarded the Order of Australia in 1991 for service to art and to the promotion of Australian culture. He was proclaimed an Australian National Living Treasure in 1997, and was listed in the Bulletin's '100 Most Influential Australians' list in 2006.
His eight-part BBC television show, The Shock of the New, broke new ground. Like the accompanying book of the series, it was critically acclaimed.
In 2007, Hughes won the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, part of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, for his book, Things I Didn't Know : A Memoir. The book was shortlisted the same year for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, and in 2006 for the Colin Roderick Award.
Patricia Anderson published a biography, Robert Hughes: The Australian Years, in 2009.
Hughes's last book was 2011's Rome.