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

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Description


A dazzlingly original and ambitious book on the history of female self-portraiture by one of today's most well-respected art critics.

Her story weaves in and out of time and place. She's Frida Kahlo, Loïs Mailou Jones and Amrita Sher-Gil en route to Mexico City, Paris or Bombay. She's Suzanne Valadon and Gwen John, craving city lights, the sea and solitude; she's Artemisia Gentileschi striding through the streets of Naples and Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpswede. She's haunting museums in her paint-stained dress, scrutinising how El Greco or Titian or Van Dyck or Cézanne solved the problems that she too is facing. She's railing against her corsets, her chaperones, her husband and her brothers; she's hammering on doors, dreaming in her bedroom, working day and night in her studio. Despite the immense hurdles that have been placed in her way, she sits at her easel, picks up a mirror and paints a self-portrait because, as a subject, she is always available.

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. 

About the Author


Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer who lives in London. Previously the editor of frieze magazine, she has written and illustrated a children's book There's Not One; is the author of the novel Bedlam and has contributed numerous essays to catalogues and anthologies. She is currently working on a new book about women, art and the spirit world, and various scripts. 

Praise For…


“In this candid book by Jennifer Higgie, an Australian art critic, each painter endures some life-changing trauma. The stark message is that women need to suffer in order to make great paintings, and that trauma is the alchemical ingredient necessary for transforming talent into genius.”
— Celia Paul

“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. It’s a subject that’s been covered before, but with Higgie’s background at Frieze, she’s equally plugged into the contemporary currents of feminist art as she is its historical context, lending the text an important freshness… For those wanting to move beyond biography and learn more about the why and how of the struggle of women artists to make their voices heard, The Mirror and the Palette is an important and brilliantly accessible resource.”
— VOGUE

“Higgie has organized the book thematically to bob and weave through the ties that have bound female painters — and blow open the so-called liberties they’ve taken with their art. Coming exactly 50 years after Linda Nochlin published her famous essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ Higgie wants to lay the question to rest, once and for all.”
— Hillary Kelly

"A master storyteller and brilliant translator of sensory experiences, Higgie makes us care about her artists as people. She is able to retrieve personalities from historical obscurity with just a few words. 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. She shows that we are still just coming to terms with how biased our institutions have been, and how much bigger the story of art really is." 
— Julie M. Johnson

“In this idiosyncratic and fascinating primer, critic and artist 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 Review

“Higgie’s writing is at its most emotionally evocative, even lyrical, when she imagines multitudes of women in their tiny attics and dimly lit studios, looking at themselves and deciding how they want to be remembered. She reflects the feelings of countless women, known and unknown… By skillfully balancing the historical and the imaginative, The Mirror and the Palette is not only a delight to read, but inspirational.”
— Art Fuse

“As editor at large of frieze magazine and the presenter of Bow Down, a podcast about women in art history, Higgie has an extensive knowledge of the works of women artists, most of whom have struggled historically with being accepted as serious artists. An engaging analysis of the resilience of female artists throughout modern history.”
— Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9781639362936
ISBN-10: 1639362932
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English

How to read more

https://unsplash.com/@birminghammuseumstrust
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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