James Hall on The Self-Portrait

James Hall

Excerpts from art critic, historian, lecturer, and broadcaster James Hall's lively and comprehensive cultural history of self-portraiture, focusing on artists including Dürer, Gentileschi, Van Gogh, and Kahlo.

Surprising, questioning, challenging, enriching: the Pocket Perspectives series presents timeless works by writers and thinkers who have shaped the conversation across the arts, visual culture, and history. Celebrating the undiminished vitality of their ideas today, these covetable and collectable little books embody the best of Thames & Hudson.


James Hall


James Hall is an art critic and historian, currently Research Professor at the University of Southampton. Noted for his versatility and originality, his books include The World as Sculpture; Michelangelo and the Reinvention of the Human Body; The Sinister Side: How Left-Right Symbolism Shaped Western Art; and The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History, which has been translated into five languages. An abridged version, James Hall on The Self-Portrait, marks Thames & Hudson's seventy-fifth anniversary as one of six “timeless” texts. The Artist's Studio: A Cultural History was a Times “Book of the Year.” Hall's essays have appeared in the Burlington Magazine, Oxford Art Journal, and Simiolus. He is a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper and Times Literary Supplement.