One of the things that distinguishes us as humans is the need to leave our mark behind, to say “I was here, I mattered.” We see evidence of this as far back as 10,000 years ago when our ancestors first stamped and stenciled their handprints on cave walls. More formal self-portraits start appearing as early as 2300 BC in ancient Egypt, carved on the tombs of the Pharaohs. But self-portraiture didn’t become fully established as an art genre until the Early Renaissance with the advent of the manufacture of affordable flat mirrors. Luckily for us, artists have been gazing at themselves in mirrors ever since.
Phaidon Press’s 500 Self-Portraits is a visual orgy, a must-have art book for anyone who is interested in the history of portraiture. This is a book you will pick up over and over again for the sheer joy of browsing. From classical to modern, nave to sophisticated, mannered to irreverent, haunting to humorous — it’s all here in this one affordable volume.
Caravaggio, Self-portrait as Bacchus. Oil on canvas, 670 x 530mm (26 3/8 x 21″). Galleria Borghese, Rome.
The reproductions in 500 Self-Portraits are presented in chronological order from Ancient Egypt to the present day.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com