Art museum in Cleveland, Ohio
Address: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
MUSEUMS MAKE ME FEEL GOOD
I love exploring in a museum. It provides me an effective way of learning the old times back days.
I like to see the different pictures from 2000 years ago. I like to see new things around.
Funerary portraits such as these constitute the only painted portraits of individuals in the Classical style to have survived from antiquity. Found only in Egypt, they are often called ” Faiyum portraits” because the majority have been found in the cemeteries of the Faiyum, a lakeside oasis west of the Nile about fifty miles south of Cairo. Finds at other sites, however, indicate that the practice was widespread at this time. When Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire. Funerary portraits were made for a very specific purpose, namely, to cover the head of the mummified individual represented in the portrait. Typically, they were painted onto wooden panels, as on the Funerary Portrait of a Young Girl, and inserted into the mummy wrappings. Less frequently, they were painted directly onto the linen shrouds that covered the mummy, as on the other two examples shown here.
The portraits are painted in encaustic, a technique in which pigments are mixed with beeswax, whether melted in its natural brittle condition or emulsified by chemical mixture with bicorbonate of soda. They present a moving, if not haunting, image of the deceased as he or she appeared in life. Hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing are carefully rendered according to contemporary fashion. Varying and meticulously rendered details such as skin tone, facial hair, and bone structure suggest a keen sense of the subjects individuality, and with it, an inevitable sense of mortality. The addition of gilded details on the lips and jewelry of the wooden portrait is a rare detail and may allude to the individual’s transformation in death into an akh, or blessed spirit, a being of light.