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.
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.
Introduction * Prelude: Self-Portraiture in Antiquity * 1. Medieval Origins * 2. A Craze for Mirrors * 3. The Artist in Society * 4. The Renaissance Artist as Hero * 5. Mock- Heroic Self-Portraits * 6. The Artist's Studio * 7. At the Crossroads * 8. Coming Home: Into the Nineteenth Century * 9. Sex and Genius * 10. Beyond the Face: Modern and Contemporary Self-Portraits