"Julian Bell is untroubled by this in his elegant introduction to FIVE HUNDRED SELF PORTTRAITS, a slickly packaged picture book. Bell says that by 1500, 'when Durer searches in himself for the likeness of Christ, self portraiture moves from the margins of Western art to centre stage.' He offers various plausible explanations: the availability of better mirrors; a rise in the status of artists; and a new religious emphasis on 'the emotions and judgment of the solitary soul'. Yet the history of self portraiture is less straight forward than this account would lead us to believe."Bell, Julian is the author of 'Five Hundred Self-Portraits', published 2004 under ISBN 9780714843841 and ISBN 0714843849.