The Artist’s Studio

A Cultural History


This book is not yet published, but will be available from October 2022.

ISBN: 9780500021712 Category:

James Hall


An exciting narrative and visual history of the artist’s studio, examining the myth and reality of the creative space from early times to today.

The artist’s workplace has always been an imaginary as well as an actual location, an idealized utopia as well as the domain of dirty, back-breaking work. Written descriptions, paintings, prints and even photographs of the artist’s atelier distort as much as they document. This pioneering cultural history charts the myth and reality of the creative space from Ancient Greece to the present day.

Tracing a history that extends far beyond the bohemian, romantic and renaissance cults of the artist, each chapter focuses on key developments of the studio space as seen in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar images. Mythical and divine makers, and some amateurs, are included, and so too are craftspeople – workers in metal and wood, potters, illuminators, weavers, embroiderers and architects to name a few. Each carefully chosen example is placed within a cultural and political context, with the aim of correcting the historical imbalance that has long overlooked the many artisans who collaborated with artists. Leading authority James Hall also extends the discussion to the artist’s museum and the artist’s house, as well plein air painting and the development of portable studios.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 16.5 x 24 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 20 October 2022
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.5 x 24 cm
Weight 300 g


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James Hall is an art critic, historian, lecturer and broadcaster. He was formerly Chief Art Critic of The Sunday Correspondent and of the Guardian. He contributes to the Guardian Saturday Review, The Times and Times Literary Supplement, as well as to many magazines and catalogues. He is the author of several books including The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History (Thames & Hudson, 2014), which the Sunday Times hailed as 'fascinating, erudite and beautifully produced'.