Skip content
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch
Self-Portrait by Celia Paul
  Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Self-Portrait

Due to publisher restrictions, this audiobook is unavailable for purchase in your selected country.
Narrator Rachel Bavidge

This audiobook uses AI narration.

We’re taking steps to make sure AI narration is transparent.

Learn more
Length 4 hours 10 minutes
Language English
  Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Brought to you by Penguin.

**Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2019**

I'm not a portrait painter. If I'm anything, I have always been an autobiographer.

Self-Portrait reveals a life truly lived through art. In this short, intimate memoir, Celia Paul moves effortlessly through time in words and images, folding in her past and present selves. From her move to the Slade School of Fine Art at sixteen, through a profound and intense affair with the older and better-known artist Lucian Freud, to the practices of her present-day studio, she meticulously assembles the surprising, beautiful, haunting scenes of a life. Paul brings to her prose the same qualities that she brings to her art: a brutal honesty, a delicate but powerful intensity, and an acute eye for visual detail.

At its heart, this is a book about a young woman becoming an artist, with all the sacrifices and complications that entails. As she moves out of Freud's shadow, and navigates a path to artistic freedom, Paul's power and identity as an artist emerge from the page.

Self-Portrait is a uniquely arresting, poignant book, and a work of art and literature by a singular talent.

'Fascinating... Painfully honest on what it means to be a woman who puts art first, no matter what.' Olivia Laing, New Statesman


© Celia Paul 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Celia Paul is recognised as one of the most important painters working in Britain today. She was born in India in 1959, before moving to England as a young child. Her major solo exhibitions include Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als, at Yale Center for British Art (2018) and The Huntington (2019); Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, Gallery Met, New York (2015–16); and Gwen John and Celia Paul, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (2012–13). Her work was included in the group exhibition All Too Human at Tate Britain (2018), and is in many collections, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Saatchi Collection and Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Reviews

Captivating... Mesmerizing... Paul's powers of observation are keen and often ruthless. A poetic, sometimes painfully honest memoir. I loved the painter Celia Paul’s memoir Self-Portrait. It’s fascinating for its account of her long-term lover Lucian Freud (he emerges as the ultimate man-baby, by turns charismatic, needy and breathtakingly selfish), but it’s also painfully honest on what it means to be a woman who puts art first, no matter what. The publication of this, her first book, is of great significance... Having recently returned to writing again, she has found a new confidence, in words, in herself and in her painting... No longer wanting to remain simply a part of Freud’s story, she wanted to make him part of her story, a narrative about her life as a painter. ... Paul’s memoir therefore seems fresh, and comes as a surprise. A story of obsession and manipulation that sends our feelings on a rollercoaster... [Self-Portrait] turns into a sort of myth about the misuse of fame and the male ego, about the struggles faced by creative women, about the body in all its guises. Like a myth, it unfolds with confusions and contradictions, a terrible inevitability and many, many discomfiting truths. Expand reviews
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch