Five hundred self-portraits

Front Cover
Phaidon, Jan 10, 2000 - Art - 548 pages
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'The mirror, above all -- the mirror is our teacher, ' wrote Leonardo da Vinci. Portraits are an endless source of fascination, responding as they do to the basic human impulse to look at faces and try to see into the character behind them. Self-portraits have the added fascination that comes from looking into the mirror and trying to study one's own face.

This book presents an uninterrupted sequence of 500 self-portraits, in chronological order from ancient Egypt to the late twentieth century. The challenge of creating their own likeness has proved irresistible to artists, and included here are powerful and evocative works by many of the world's greatest painters and sculptors, including Durer, Rembrandt, Picasso and Andy Warhol. Each image is both a work of art and a study in psychology and self-perception -- an idea taken up by the book's mirrored jacket, where the reader's own face becomes the 501st self-portrait.

Presented without commentary, these works speak for themselves -- a compelling collection for every student of art and human nature.

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About the author (2000)

Bell is a painter and writer. He received a degree in English Literature from Oxford University and studied at the City & Guilds London Art School. As a painter he has executed a wide variety of commissions and exhibits frequently in London.

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