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Books

The selfie from Akhenaten to Tracey Emin

A review of James Hall’s The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History. This wonderful survey has brilliant timing – but not nearly enough illustrations

22 March 2014

9:00 AM

22 March 2014

9:00 AM

The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History James Hall

Thames and Hudson, pp.288, £19.95, ISBN: 9780500239100

If ever there was a time to write a book about self-portraits, this must be it.  ‘Past interest in the genre,’ James Hall tells us in his introduction to this cultural history, ‘is overshadowed by the obsession with self-portraiture during the last 40 years.’ What he could not have foreseen was that self-portraiture would feature in the mainstream news as never before over the last six months or so.

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