Mummy portrait of a young woman - ROM2011_12102_6


Mummy portrait of a young woman

Medium:Encaustic (wax pigment) painting on wood panel
Geography: Hawwarat al-Maqda, al-Fayyum, Egypt
Date: about 100 CE
Period: Roman Imperial period
41.7 x 22 cm
Object number: 918.20.1
Credit Line: The Walter Massey Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Eaton Gallery of Rome: Roman Egypt
DescriptionThis expressive portrait shows a wealthy young woman who lived and died in Egypt during the Roman period. The wooden panel comes from a linen-wrapped mummy, combining the ancient Egyptian tradition for mummification with a Roman tradition of representing the deceased. The woman herself was probably of Greek ancestry, reflecting the mix of populations in Egypt following the conquest of Alexander the Great. Alexander’s general, Ptolemy, and his descendants ruled Egypt until it became part of the Roman Empire with the defeat of Cleopatra VII in 30 BC. The mummy was discovered in 1888 by Flinders Petrie when he was excavating the necropolis at Hawara in the Egyptian Fayyum. The portrait was taken to England as part of the collection of H. Martyn Kennard, who funded Petrie’s excavations. In 1912 Charles Trick Currelly bought it for the Royal Ontario Museum through the generosity of Walter Massey.
Roman World
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