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mummy-portrait

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA74706

  • Description

    Portrait of a woman in ecaustic on limewood: the upper edge of the panel is broken, and three vertical fissures extend from the broken edge.
    This painting demonstrates a very sophisticated use of colour on a grey background; the drapery is painted in three tones of purple, with careful shading and highlighting, also used to form the tones of the face. The original wax was remelted by Petrie; a thin layer of paraffin wax was added to conserve the surface.
    The subject wears a cyclamen purple tunic, apparently draped to fall off the proper left shoulder (the line of the drapery is visible beneath a mantle of slightly darker hue). Both garments are of fine cloth; the mantle is worn over both shoulders. The woman wears gold hoop earrings set with three round emeralds, and two necklaces, of which the upper is set with longer emeralds interspersed with two gold elements, and the lower with small amethysts and a large central emerald in a gold setting, from which hang two pearls.
    The hair is curly and cut fairly close to the head, with locks falling in front of the ears. The eyes are large, with lightly curved lower lids and arched eyebrows; of refined appearance, the woman's ivory flesh is lightly tinted on the cheeks, with cream highlights on the nose.
    The style of the hair (especially the locks in front of the ears)

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 100-120
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 38.2 centimetres
    • Width: 20.5 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.15 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The jewellery suggests a date in the early years of the second century AD.


    Bibliography:
    W. M. F. Petrie, 'Hawara, Biahmu and Arsinoe' (1889), 15, 44, frontispiece, n. 9;
    W. M. F. Petrie, 'The Hawara Portfolio: Paintings of the Roman Age' (1913), pl. 16;
    A. F. Shore, 'Portrait Painting from Roman Egypt' 2 ed. (1972) , pl. 14;
    K. Parlasca, 'Ritratti di Mummie'. In A. Adriani (ed.), 'Repertorio d'arte dell'Egitto greco-romano'. 2 ser. I (1969), 85, no. 218 (bibl.), pl. 54, 2;
    E. Doxiadis, 'The Mysterious Fayum Portraits. Faces from Ancient Egypt' (1995), 198, no. 41;
    B. Borg, ‘Mumienporträts. Chronologie und kulterelle Kontext (1996), 130, 166, 171, pl. 5, 2;
    E. Doxiadis 1998, 140 no. 13 with pl. p. 47;
    M. F. Aubert and R. Cortopassi 'Portraits de l'Égypte Romaine' (1998), 106-7 no. 55;
    Parlasca and Seeman 1999, 130-1 no. 32.
    S. Walker and M. Bierbrier, 'Fayum. Misteriosi volti dall'Egitto', London 1997, p. 84 [56].
    'Portraits: De l’Egypte Romaine', Paris 1998, pp.106-107 [55].
    S. Walker, 'Ancient Faces', New York 2000, p. 54 [16].

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Walker, S 2000 16 bibliographic details
    • Walker & Bierbrier 1997 37 bibliographic details
    • Paris 1998 no.55 bibliographic details
    • Parlasca & Seeman 1999 p.131, no.32 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1997 15 Oct-1998 30 Apr, Italy, Rome, Fondazione Memmo, Ancient Faces
    2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2007 14 Oct, Bremen
    2009 24 Sept-2010 17 Jan, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, Pituura Romana
    2011 30 May-24 Jul. Spain,Madrid, Museo Arqueologico Nacional. 'Retratos de le Fayum'. Bussac, Claude.
    2012, Travelling exhibition, Jewellery PROMISED

  • Condition

    fair - upper edge broken; three vertical fissures

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1994

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1888.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA74706

  • Registration number

    1994,0521.4

  • Additional IDs

    • National Gallery 1263
Portrait of a woman in ecaustic on limewood: the upper edge of the panel is broken, and three vertical fissures extend from the broken edge.

This painting demonstrates a very sophisticated use of colour on a grey background; the drapery is painted in three tones of purple, with careful shading and highlighting, also used to form the tones of the face. The original wax was remelted by Petrie; a thin layer of paraffin wax was added to conserve the surface.

The subject wears a cyclamen purple tunic, apparently draped to fall off the proper left shoulder (the line of the drapery is visible beneath a mantle of slightly darker hue). Both garments are of fine cloth; the mantle is worn over both shoulders. The woman wears gold hoop earrings set with three round emeralds, and two necklaces, of which the upper is set with longer emeralds interspersed with two gold elements, and the lower with small amethysts and a large central emerald in a gold setting, from which hang two pearls.

The hair is curly and cut fairly close to the head, with locks falling in front of the ears. The eyes are large, with lightly curved lower lids and arched eyebrows; of refined appearance, the woman's ivory flesh is lightly tinted on the cheeks, with cream highlights on the nose.
The style of the hair (especially the locks in front of the ears)

Portrait of a woman in ecaustic on limewood: the upper edge of the panel is broken, and three vertical fissures extend from the broken edge. This painting demonstrates a very sophisticated use of colour on a grey background; the drapery is painted in three tones of purple, with careful shading and highlighting, also used to form the tones of the face. The original wax was remelted by Petrie; a thin layer of paraffin wax was added to conserve the surface. The subject wears a cyclamen purple tunic, apparently draped to fall off the proper left shoulder (the line of the drapery is visible beneath a mantle of slightly darker hue). Both garments are of fine cloth; the mantle is worn over both shoulders. The woman wears gold hoop earrings set with three round emeralds, and two necklaces, of which the upper is set with longer emeralds interspersed with two gold elements, and the lower with small amethysts and a large central emerald in a gold setting, from which hang two pearls. The hair is curly and cut fairly close to the head, with locks falling in front of the ears. The eyes are large, with lightly curved lower lids and arched eyebrows; of refined appearance, the woman's ivory flesh is lightly tinted on the cheeks, with cream highlights on the nose. The style of the hair (especially the locks in front of the ears)

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA60730

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