Mummy Portrait of a Man Wearing a Laurel Wreath

A work made of lime (linden) wood, beeswax, pigments, gold, textile, and natural resin.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lime (linden) wood, beeswax, pigments, gold, textile, and natural resin.

Date:

Early to mid–2nd century AD

Artist:

Roman

About this artwork

When the Romans gained control over Egypt after the death of Cleopatra in 31 B.C., they adopted some of the local Egyptian beliefs and customs, including the practice of mummification. This portrait, which was incorporated into the subject’s mummy, may have been painted while he was alive. However, the gold background and the wreath that sits atop his head were likely added after his death. In ancient Egypt, gold was associated with the divine and the eternal. The addition of gilding to one’s portrait suggested the deceased’s transition into the realm of the gods.

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Ancient and Byzantine Art

Artist

Ancient Roman

Title

Mummy Portrait of a Man Wearing a Laurel Wreath

Origin

Fayum

Date

101 AD–150 AD

Medium

Lime (linden) wood, beeswax, pigments, gold, textile, and natural resin

Dimensions

41.9 × 24.1 × 0.2 cm (16 1/2 × 9 1/2 × 1/16 in.), depth with support 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1922.4799

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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