W&N acquires 'dazzlingly original' history of women's self-portraits

W&N acquires 'dazzlingly original' history of women's self-portraits

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a “dazzlingly original” book from frieze magazine editor Jennifer Higgie on the history of female artists through their self-portraits.

Jenny Lord, publisher of W&N non-fiction, acquired world rights from David Godwin at David Godwin Associates in an exclusive deal. The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women’s Self Portraits will be published in hardback and e-book in March 2021.

Higgie will introduce us to a cross-section of extraordinary women artists from the 16th to the 20th centuries, using their self-portraits as a springboard to examine how and why they became artists and what their self-representation reveals about the times in which they lived.

The synopsis explains: “Intertwining biography and cultural history, and 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, The Mirror and the Palette will be a dazzlingly original and ambitious book by one of the most well-respected art critics at work today.”

Lord said: “I have long admired Jennifer’s approach to art writing, and we are delighted to be publishing her first work of non-fiction. The Mirror and the Palette promises to be a fascinating and epic journey through the history of women painting themselves, and a radically fresh approach to writing about art.”

Higgie added: “I could not be more thrilled to sign with Weidenfeld & Nicolson for The Mirror and the Palette. I look forward to honouring the lives of these extraordinary women, many of whom defied convention to create self-portraits that reveal so much – not just about themselves, but about the society that produced them.”