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Whatever stance they promote, be it pompous or playful or merely pleasing, self-portraits have much to say. They can show success or indulge in self-mockery; advertise a new aesthetic or celebrate a marriage. Moreover, the painter's opinion of himself is a part of his equipment. Pride and a certain exultation nourish any physical skill.

But there is much else going on in The Self-Portrait: It's hard to understand why self-portraits, as a genre, have until now been so little discussed. They include some of the greatest works of all time. Perhaps the huge diversity within self-portraiture, and its leaning towards bombast, have kept scholars at bay.

Nothing about this book is predictable. One illustration, c, shows a tiny St Dunstan prostrate before a giant figure of Christ, seeking absolution by touching his robe. He presents the engraving by Israhel van Meckenem, Self-Portrait With His Wife , c, which is indeed as Hall describes it — "one of the most delightful and intense double portraits ever made".

The two heads are squeezed together, making a tight fit within the space.

Self Portraits - Be O.K. (Official Stream)

Every detail compels attention: Hall makes knowing use of contingent details. He is an expert on the various kinds of mirrors which aided the development of self-portraiture. He inevitably focuses at one point on the circular convex mirror on the back wall of the National Gallery's The Arnolfini Portrait and agrees with others that Van Eyck is probably one of the three figures reflected in it.


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Elsewhere, however, Hall accesses vast tracts of knowledge with an easy familiarity, as he travels through the centuries and across Europe to the present day. It appears that, up until , the production of self-portraits remained modest and spasmodic.

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The top 10 self-portraits in art | Art and design | The Guardian

It feels to me that this is often the aim of many selfies to get a response. However I am not saying this is a negative thing, but simply something we as humans have done throughout history. We want to be seen a certain way and now through easily accessible cameras and social media this is easier than ever.

I tend to agree that the selfie is simply a form a of self-portraiture. As you point out, the goal of the self-portrait, just like the selfie, is to get a response. Incidentally, one line of thought I overlooked in this piece, but that might be interesting to apply to an art history project such as yours, is the fact that the concept of the selfie is highly gendered. I am not a selfie person. But I recognize something that you have pointed out here Annelisa and that is that selfies are a personal form of chatting rather than a permanent starting point for a larger narrative.

I have never thought of these collages as self portraits until I read your article. I would be curious to know what readers of this article think. The Psymily project is open for anyone to participate at http: Generally, selfies aim to capture a moment in time, a reflection of the surface. But, what is art, really?

So, applying the the notion that art is what a museum chooses to show has already been torn down in the case of selfies. Even so, none of this negates the fact that selfies are, for many, a form of narcissism or self-affirmation. A way to be counted in an increasingly complex and anonymous world. Needless to say I was annoyed…am I the only one to see a difference between taking selfies vs. Updated photographs or yourself? Why would I want to keep a picture of myself, infinitely heavier???

I think that there is a world worth of more meaning behind a self portrait than could ever be in a selfie. The fact that selfies are mass produced alone takes a huge toll on the importance of them. When one looks at the face, they should see a masterpiece.

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When masterpieces are viewed constantly, they lose a sense of mystery. In my opinion, a selfie is an unprofessional photo taken of yourself by yourself. In a selfie, you can see that the angle of the camera is most-likely tilted. There may also be some blurry parts. A selfie most likely contain a strange facial expression of that compared to a simple smile or resting face of a portrait. Portraits tend to have more of a professional approach.

Unlike a selfie, a self portrait has both of the arms of the person down. Many would use a timer or a clicker to capture the photo. In a self portrait, the person is capturing a photo of themselves by themselves. It is more of a photo that would be seen on a passport or driver licence. I am guessing here, but my vote would be that those are closer to self-portraits than to selfies.

The use of selfies as I see them for business, the travel trade for me delivers on credibility of having been there, seen that. Other than that, I am interested in faces and how they change over time… especially mine and why not. I often shoot a selfie, manipulate it and draw it out as a cartoon character for use in some of my promotional material using a comic book layout to sell a tour. Thanks for previous comments on the difference.

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Is the selfie a self portrait? It all depends on the perception and interpretation of the viewer. To me not all art is art, just as all food is not palatable and we all see the same things with different eyes. A selfie to me is a form of quick communication, it is meant to feel more personal than a text because instead of just telling someone what you are doing you can show them.

More top 10s in art

I think of a selfie as a way I can send someone an ugly picture of myself and not have to worry about it sticking around. It is a way represent yourself in everyday life without too much meaning behind it. People use selfies as way to depict how they want to be seen, they can choose their own angles, put the newest filter on themselves, and make things appear different than what they are. That to me is what separates a selfie from a self-portrait, showing what you think people want to see and showing what you see.

Is the Mona Lisa a Self-Portrait?

Selfies are a conversation and what I mean by that is selfies depend on who you are sending it to or what you want someone else to think or see. A self-portrait is a statement and by that I mean something that cannot be altered by the idea of who is going to see it or what someone might think. For me there is a strong difference between a selfie and self portrait.

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