Funerary portrait of a woman

Egyptian
Roman Imperial Period
about A.D. 100


Dimensions

Height x width: 30.1 x 7.8 cm (11 7/8 x 3 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

93.1451

Medium or Technique

Tempera on wood (possibly cedar or oak)

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Africa and Oceania, The Ancient World

Classifications

Masks

Central portion of a wood panel containing the mummy portrait of a woman (the portrait was painted as a “mask” for her mummy). She is portrayed as a young woman, with light brown eyes, arching brows, and dark brown hair swept up into a bun with corkscrew curls framing the face. She wears a purple chiton and himation and a pair of chokers. Romans living in Egypt (some of Greek descent from the time when the Ptolemies ruled) adopted local Egyptian burial practices and were embalmed.

Provenance

Said to come from el-Rubaiyat in the Faiyum. 1887, probably acquired in Egypt by Theodor Graf (b. 1840 - d. 1903) Vienna; 1893, sold by Graf to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1893)

Credit Line

Everett Fund, Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation, and contribution