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The Mirror and the Palette
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About the Author

JENNIFER HIGGIE is an Australian writer who lives in London. She has a BA in Fine Art from the Canberra School of Art, and a MA from Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne; her paintings are in various public and private collections in Australia. Previously the editor of frieze magazine, she is now frieze editor-at-large and the presenter of Bow Down, a podcast about women in art history. She is also a screenwriter, the editor of a collection of writings on art and humour THE ARTIST'S JOKE, a novel, BEDLAM, and a children's book, THERE'S NOT ONE.

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
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 *
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 *
[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
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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