The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History

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SKU:
9780500292112
Author:
James Hall
Publisher:
Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date:
2015-08-24
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
288
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In this broad cultural survey, James Hall brilliantly maps the history of self-portraiture, 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 self-portraits 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.