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on 1 May 2014
If reference was made to where each illustration is, this book would be much less frustrating to read. There is no list of illustrations either so you can hunt and hunt before discovering the art work you're reading about isn't illuatrated in the book. I also find the speculation annoying. If we have no way of knowing what an artist 'must have seen', better not mention it?

All this is a great shame because there fascinating information here and a great deal to enjoy.
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This is an interesting history of the Self-Portrait, which covers not only paintings, etchings and drawing, but also sculpture and pottery (Gauguin made a number of self-portraits in pottery.) It is a scholarly book with a great deal on the literary sources which have inspired (or may have inspired) the work of self-portraitists, and sometimes we have very long passages about such background and about aspects of the lives of the artists before we get to the discussion of actual self-portraits. The interpretations of the latter are always interesting, even when they sometimes struck me as personal and possibly far-fetched on occasions. The last chapter, on Modern and Contemporary Self-Portraits shows (in my opinion, for Hall does not make any value judgments) just how gimmicky, pretentious and plain rubbishy a lot of contemporary art is.

Finding self-portraits fascinating, I enjoyed the book, though I found Laura Cummins’ “A Face to the World” more rewarding - see my Amazon review.
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on 25 May 2014
A very illuminating work on the history of the self portrait, with some unexpected information about the origins of the genre.
A well written and scholarly book, with some beautiful illustrations.Altogether well worth reading and keeping for future reference.
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on 14 October 2015
Anyone expecting lots of pictures in this book may be disappointed as it's mostly text which isn't great in a book about art.
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on 30 January 2015
Erudite, readable and beautifully put together study, a must for art students or anyone interested in the self portrait.
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on 24 November 2015
No complaints.
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on 20 July 2014
Self-portraiture as culture - terrific
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on 29 June 2014
I returned it as I had hoped for more illustrations.
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on 20 November 2014
My partner loved this boo
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