Egyptian Fayum Mummy Portraits at the Metropolitan Museum af Art

This past week I visited the Metropolitan Museum to view the Michelangelo and Hockney shows. As beautiful and inspirational as they were, the most memorable work was in the Egyptian section. The Fayum portraits. These mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of panel painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the only large body of art from that tradition to have survived.

I'm intrigued by these encaustics (wax) paintings and contemplating how to incorporate them into my photo-realistic oil paintings. As a starting point, I've signed up for some encaustic classes at R&F paints in Kingston, NY to learn more about the medium.

Below are a few photos from my visit to the Met and a video by artist Y.Z. KAMI on Egyptian Fayum portraits.

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