Synopses & Reviews
The self-portrait may be the visual genre most identified with our confessional era, but modern artists are far from the first to have explored its power and potential. In this broad cultural survey of the genre, art historian and critic 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. Hall's intelligent and vivid account shows how artists' depictions of themselves have been part of a continuing tradition that reaches back 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 biographical role of serial self-portraits by artists 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. Comprehensive and beautifully illustrated, the book features the work of a wide range of artists including Alberti, Caravaggio, Dürer, Emin, Gauguin, Giotto, Goya, Kahlo, Koons, Magritte, Mantegna, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Warhol.
This accessible overview for students, scholars, and general readerschronologically traces the self-portrait in art history from the Middle Ages to the present. The book is illustrated with color photosand art throughout, on every page, for a total of 120 illustrations. Discussion encompasses themes such as the artist in society, theRenaissance artist as hero, mock-heroic self-portraits, and the role of biography for serial self-portraitists. Artists discussed includeMichelangelo, Van Gogh, Munch, Modersohn-Becker, Frida Kahlo, and Andy Warhol.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
"Hall provides a lively cultural interpretation of the genre from the Middle Ages to today. . . . Rather than provide a series of 'greatest hits,' he is more concerned with the reasons why artists create self-portraits." --
About the Author
James Hall is an art historian, lecturer, and broadcaster, and is a visiting research fellow at the University of Southampton in England. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books.