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Painting with Beeswax: Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt

Presented by Harvard Art Museums at Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA

Nov 03 2022
Painting with Beeswax: Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt

Portrait of a woman, Egypt, c. 130–150 CE. Binder: beeswax; pigments: lead white, red and yellow ochres, carbon black, indigo, madder lake, green earth (celadonite), natrojarosite; support: native Egyptian sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus). Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Dr. Denman W. Ross, 1923.60.

Join encaustic artist Francisco Benitez and paintings conservator Kate Smith as they discuss the ancient process of painting with beeswax.

Ancient artists from Roman-period Egypt created portraits on wooden panels to be placed on mummified bodies. The main technique used for these portraits was encaustic (wax) painting. These paintings can now be seen in museum collections around the world. In this presentation and conversation, contemporary encaustic artist Francisco Benitez and conservator of paintings Kate Smith will employ their expertise to bring new understanding to these ancient objects and allow us to appreciate the skills

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Free admission, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations may be arranged by clicking on the event on this form beginning on Monday, October 24, after 10am.

    Official Website

Additional time info:

Doors will open at 5:30pm. Following the lecture, guests are invited to visit the exhibition on Level 3.


Harvard Art Museums

32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138


    • Wheelchair Access

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48

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COVID-19 Phased Reopening Details

Face Masks Required: No
Proof of Vaccination Required: No

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