Self-Portrait: A Cultural History
written by James Hall
Thames and Hudson | ISBN 9780500239100
Hardback – 288 pages
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In this broad cultural survey, James Hall brilliantly maps the history of selfportraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus and the Christian tradition of ‘bearing witness’ to the prolific self-image-making of today’s contemporary artists. Along the way he reveals the importance of the medieval ‘mirror craze’; 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 and Bonnard; and the latest developments in our globalized age. Hall covers the full range of self-portraits, from comic and caricature selfportraits to ‘invented’ or imaginary ones, and looks deeply into the worlds and mindsets of the artists who have created them. Offering a rich and lively history, this is an essential read for all those interested in this most enduringly popular and humane of art forms.