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The Self-Portrait (Art Essentials)

Natalie Rudd


A lively introduction to self-portraiture, reflecting on the work of over sixty artists from the Renaissance to the present day

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The self-portrait shows no sign of losing its ability to capture the public imagination. It has the power to illuminate a range of shared concerns, from autobiography and authenticity to mythmaking and disguise.

This book investigates seven centuries of self-portraiture. Natalie Rudd casts fresh light on the international appeal of this most resilient genre, examining the historical contexts within which self-portraits developed and considering the significance of self-portraiture today, with illuminating commentaries on works by artists ranging from Michelangelo, Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh to Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman and Zanele Muholi.

In her vibrant and engaging text, Rudd maintains an inquisitive approach. She questions assumptions and embraces fresh perspectives, uncovering shifting concepts of selfhood in an age when we are interrogating notions of identity more than ever before.

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'A wonderfully informative, insightful and lively history of the self portrait, taking us on a fascinating journey from the Renaissance to the most adventurous artists of today'
Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 21.6 x 13.8 cm

Extent: 176 pp

Illustrations: 97

Publication date: 13 May 2021

ISBN: 9780500295816

Contents List

Introduction • 1. From Cameo to Centre Stage • 2. Studio Life • 3. Windows to the Soul • 4. Up Close and Personal • 5. Performing Identities • 6. Traces

About the Author

Natalie Rudd is Senior Curator of the UK’s Arts Council Collection. She has published monographs on the artists Peter Blake, Tess Jaray and Paul de Monchaux, among others.