The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution and Resilience: 500 Years of Women's Self-Portraits (Paperback)
  • The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution and Resilience: 500 Years of Women's Self-Portraits (Paperback)
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The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution and Resilience: 500 Years of Women's Self-Portraits (Paperback)

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Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 26/05/2022
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Until the twentieth century, art history was, in the main, written by white men who tended to write about other white men. The idea that women in the West have always made art was rarely cited as a possibility. Yet they have - and, of course, continue to do so - often against tremendous odds, from laws and religion to the pressures of family and public disapproval.

In THE MIRROR AND THE PALETTE, Jennifer Higgie introduces us to a cross-section of women artists who embody the fact that there is more than one way to understand our planet, more than one way to live in it and more than one way to make art about it. Spanning 500 years, biography and cultural history intertwine in a narrative packed with tales of rebellion, adventure, revolution, travel and tragedy enacted by women who turned their back on convention and lived lives of great resilience, creativity and bravery. This is a dazzlingly original and ambitious book by one of the most well-respected art critics at work today.

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
ISBN: 9781474613798
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 41 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A bewitching, invigorating history of women artists, the work they've made and the impossibly hard conditions in which it was produced. I can't think of a more satisfying riposte to anyone who asks why there have been no great women artists than to present them with this incandescent book -- OLIVIA LAING
Brilliant . . . reveals an until-now hidden history of women's self-portraiture. A gift that keeps on giving -- Ali Smith * NEW STATESMAN *
An uplifting and dazzling tour through history . . . a breakout book that shifts the spotlight onto the names that the art world has painted over. It's illuminating and essential reading * STYLIST *
Sumptuous as well as fascinating -- Rachel Cooke * OBSERVER *
Joyous . . . As Jennifer Higgie argues in this fine, haunting book, women have always made art, despite the discouragement lobbed in their path. The Mirror and the Palette is a redress, and vividly done - so much so that it rustles with the women's presence. You feel them standing behind you, expectant . . . A revelatory study -- Lucy Davies * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH *
Jennifer Higgie puts female artists centre stage with this fascinating biography looking at 500 years of self-portraits * THE i NEWSPAPER *
A fascinating survey of women's self-portraits from the Renaissance to the 20th century . . . Extraordinary * DAILY MAIL *
This engrossing book sheds new light on forgotten and disregarded female artists throughout history - and about time too . . . an absorbing story of women's art made in the European tradition -- Nancy Durrant * EVENING STANDARD *
Higgie's book is a useful primer for those seeking to understand the obstacles and challenges faced by women artists over the centuries, as well as a timely assessment of what it means to look at women artists from history today. The Mirror and the Palette is an important and brilliantly accessible resource * VOGUE *
Jennifer Higgie has created a masterpiece of her own within the pages of this rich, celebratory tome, which examines a cross-section of female artists spanning back across the past 500 years. Illuminating and captivating, this is a sumptuous and vital read for all lovers of art * WOMAN & HOME, best non-fiction books of 2021 *
Higgie's book is a riposte to Renoir and centuries of unknowing and misjudging. Reading it is like travelling with an ever-excited companion who has lots to say . . . always compelling * LITERARY REVIEW *
Higgie's chatty, intimate style grips from the opening pages -- Rachel Spence * FINANCIAL TIMES *

[Higgie is] a master storyteller and brilliant translator of sensory experiences, she makes us care about her artists as people. An eye-opening intervention in the memory system of art history, The Mirror and the Palette is a major contribution, not least for the author's appealing, accessible writing

* TLS *
[An] illuminating new study on why women have been largely shut out of art history. Higgie's clever thesis looks at self-portraits as a springboard, giving fresh insights into brilliant artists such as Frida Kahlo, Lois Mailou Jones, Amrita Sher-Gil, Suzanne Valadon, Gwen John, Artemisia Gentileschi and Paula Modersohn-Becker * THE ART NEWSPAPER *
The Mirror and the Palette reminded me immediately of the best kind of Antonia Fraser reading experience: knowledgeable and richly researched but written with an intuitive, sympathetic eye for the most humanising details of personalities we know only as cultural icons, or not at all. Higgie's own quiet but persistent presence as a reader and a looker in these sinuous little biographies is also the courage of the researcher who really cares about her subject and can turn dry information into the kind of compulsive read that makes you wish you had your daily commute back -- NIAMH CAMPBELL, author of THIS HAPPY
The stories told by the lives of these women artists and the self-portraits they made comprise a history as compelling as it is shocking. The verve and clarity of Higgie's writing and the range of her research combine to position THE MIRROR AND THE PALETTE as a future classic of art history -- MICHAEL BRACEWELL
Superbly researched and elegantly written . . . a fascinating study in the defiant and determined creativity of women that was so lamentably actively erased by official art histories . . . gloriously readable and deeply intelligent -- GRISELDA POLLOCK
In this idiosyncratic and fascinating primer, Higgie skillfully restores marginalized women self-portraitists to their rightful place in the art pantheon. Full of edgy insights, this engrossing survey will delight art connoisseurs and general readers alike * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred) *
A lively and edifying read * BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE *
In The Mirror and the Palette Jennifer Higgie celebrates 20 women artists who defied the odds and broke taboos to present themselves, and their female perspective on the times they lived in, to the world * CHRISTIES *

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“A timely contribution to a neglected field”

This is a most welcome and original addition to writings on women's art throughout history and the world.
Rita Angus, who died in 1970 leaving 600 unsold works in her studio, is now famous throughout New... More

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