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“Mummy Portraits” of Roman Egypt: Status, Ethnicity, and Magic
Portrait of a woman, Egypt, probably from Philadelphia (near er-Rubayat), second half 2nd century CE. Support: native Egyptian sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus), willow wood (Salix species); binder: animal glue; pigments: bassanite, anhydrite, alunite, red and yellow ochres, bone black, carbon black, madder lake, red lead. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 1939.111.
Join us online or in person at Harvard’s Geological Lecture Hall to discuss the context and function of funerary portraits.
In ancient Egypt, one of the final steps in the mummification process was to equip the body with a permanent face covering that helped protect the head and also ritually transform the deceased into a god. The earliest examples of these were stylized masks, later replaced by more realistically rendered painted portraits. Using evidence from the archaeological record and the Book of the Dead—a series of spells meant to guide the dead as they sought eternal life—art professor Lorelei CorcoranView more
This event is free, but advance registration required for either virtual or in-person attendance. A Zoom link will be shared upon registration for those opting to join virtually.
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