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Mummy-portrait of a youth

Mummy-portrait of a youth
Roman Period (c. AD 100)
Egypt : Roman
Wax encaustic on wood panel
h 40.3 x w 17.6 x d 1 cm
1973
UEA 326

From about the middle of the first century AD, and extending into the fourth century, painted portraits on wood replaced mummy masks of plaster. Many examples survive and some are in pristine condition. They provide invaluable evidence about the physical appearance of the inhabitants in certain parts of Egypt in the period covered by their use. Some of the mummy-portraits were probably painted from life, and others were clearly mass produced. Almost all portray the deceased in the prime of their youth; hardly any aged people are depicted.

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