PositiveThe Evening Standard (UK)... engrossing ... However you cut it, Higgie is pretty much on the money when it comes to the visibility of female artists among the general population ... This isn’t the first book to look at women’s self-portraits, but here, the chosen works of self-scrutiny, a good number of which are reproduced in the book, are treated as pinging off points for an absorbing if occasionally meandering story of women’s art made in the European tradition ... You come away from this book with a sense that the countless struggles that have gone before - those of which we have traces, and many more about which we will never know a thing - are in a very real way the blocks on which women artists’ achievements have been raised.
RaveEvening Standard (UK)Macdonald is a glorious writer ... Macdonald picks up on the pride we feel when a robin \'chooses\' our garden to feed in ... but Macdonald never makes us feel stupid; she’s as prone to it as the rest of us. Her close encounter, while heartbroken, with a seemingly sympathetic swan, is testament to that. Perfect to drop in and out of on your staycation, this book will make you look a bit harder at the wonders around you.
RaveThe TimesHis interest in human and animal behaviour has served him well for The Lives of the Surrealists. The general reader usually wants to know just how outstandingly weird artists were, with whom they feuded and with whom they had sex. Morris describes how the surrealists were prolific in all these areas, as well as how they created one of the most influential art movements (and misappropriated terms) in history ... He writes with a pleasingly conversational tone and a dry humour and affection that undercuts the more preposterous behaviour described in the book ... Juicy little nuggets litter the book. Discussing the onset of Picasso’s blue period, a phase that Morris maintains was brought on by VD, he mentions that the painter paid the doctor with a blue-period painting. \'In retrospect, this was possibly the highest fee ever paid for a medical treatment.\'