The Self-Portrait

A Cultural History

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ISBN: 9780500239100 Category:

James Hall

Description

The self-portrait has become the defining visual genre of our confessional age, but modern artists are far from the first to have exploited its power and potential. In this broad cultural survey, art historian and critic James Hall brilliantly maps the history of self-portraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus to the prolific self-image-making of contemporary artists.

His intelligent and vivid account shows how artists’ depictions of themselves have been part of a continuing tradition that reaches back for centuries. Along the way he reveals the importance of the medieval ‘mirror craze’; the explosion of the genre during the Renaissance; the confessional self-portraits of Titian and Michelangelo; the role of biography for serial self-portraitists such as Courbet and van Gogh; themes of sex and genius in works by Munch, Bonnard and Modersohn-Becker; and the latest developments of the genre in the era of globalization.

The full range of self-portraits is covered here, from comic and caricature self-portraits to ‘invented’ or imaginary ones, as well as key collections of self-portraiture such as that of the Medici in Florence. Throughout, Hall asks why – and when – artists have chosen to make self-portraits, and looks deeply into the worlds and mindsets of the artists who have created them.

Comprehensive and beautifully illustrated, the book features the work of a wide range of artists including Alberti, Caravaggio, Courbet, Dürer, Emin, Gauguin, Giotto, Goya, Kahlo, Koons, Magritte, Mantegna, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt and Warhol. Offering a rich and lively history, The Self-Portrait is an essential read for all those interested in this most enduringly popular and humane of art forms.

Additional information

Weight 854 g
Dimensions 16 x 23.3 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 March 2014
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16 x 23.3 cm
Weight 854 g
James Hall is an art historian, lecturer and broadcaster, and is a visiting research fellow at the University of Southampton. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books, including The World as Sculpture: The Changing Status of Sculpture from the Renaissance to the Present Day and The Sinister Side: How Left-Right Symbolism Shaped Western Art.