The Self-Portrait

A Cultural History

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ISBN: 9780500292112 Category:

James Hall

Description

In this broad cultural survey of self-portraiture, art historian and critic James Hall brilliantly maps the history of the genre, from the earliest myths of Narcissus and the Christian tradition of ‘bearing witness’ to the prolific self-image-making of today’s contemporary artists. His 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 715 g
Dimensions 15.5 x 22.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2015
Number of pages 288
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 15.5 x 22.9 cm
Weight 715 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.