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Tom Sutcliffe talks with Betsy Wieseman of the National Gallery, poet John Burnside, art historian James Hall and the musician and conductor Richard Tognetti about self-scrutiny.

Self-portraits rarely fail to compel, but to what extent are they a true form of self-examination? James Hall maps the history of self-portraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus to the prolific self-image-making of contemporary artists. Rembrandt's self-portraits are the highlight of a major exhibition of the artist's work at The National Gallery. Its curator Betsy Wieseman discusses what these paintings can tell us about the artist. Poetry and memoir are the tools of John Burnside's self-exploration. A previous TS Eliot prize winner, he discusses his latest collection 'All One Breath' for which he has been nominated again this year. The musician Richard Tognetti argues that 'the self' can still shine through in interpretations of great classical works.

Producer: Fiona Woods.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Mon 17 Nov 2014 21:30

Betsy Wieseman

Betsy Wieseman is Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings 1600-1800 at the National Gallery.

Rembrandt: The Late Works is on at the National Gallery until 18 January 2015.

Rembrandt: The Late Works

James Hall

James Hall is an art historian, lecturer and broadcaster.

The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History is published by Thames & Hudson.

The Self-Portrait

John Burnside

John Burnside is a poet and novelist.

All One Breath is published by Jonathan Cape.

John Burnside

Richard Tognetti

Richard Tognetti is Artistic Director and Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Richard is in the UK directing the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment who are touring England from 18-25 November.

Richard Tognetti

Lord of the Strings - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest James Hall
Interviewed Guest Betsy Wieseman
Interviewed Guest John Burnside
Interviewed Guest Richard Tognetti
Producer Fiona Woods


  • Mon 17 Nov 2014 09:00
  • Mon 17 Nov 2014 21:30