Fayum Portrait of a Woman (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

Educational
late 3rd-4th century A.D.
Roman (Egypt)
encaustic on wood panel
Egypt
Unframed: 13 × 8 1/4 in. (33.02 × 20.955 cm)
Framed: 23 3/4 × 19 in. (60.325 × 48.26 cm)
55.4

This type of portrait painting is named after the Egyptian site where the first examples were found. Placed over the faces of mummies instead of the masks used earlier in Egypt, these panels reflect the merging of Egyptian funerary practices with Graeco-Roman portraiture. This evocative example is painted in the encaustic technique, in which pigment was added to heated beeswax and applied to a wooden panel.

 

Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Barriault, Anne B., and Kay M. Davidson. Selections from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond, VA: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. (pp. 94-95, ill. p. 95)

Mayo, Margaret Ellen, and Heather S. Russell. Ancient Art: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond, VA: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1998. (pp. 88-89)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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