“Fayum” (6)


“Fayum(6 Pencil 30 cm x 20cm A4 (London October 2023).

“These Funerary portraits from Egypt’s Roman Imperial period are startlingly lifelike. Artists used shading and realistic details to create unique representations of local elites. The Fayum (or Faiyum – named after the region in Egypt) mummy portrait tradition fused Egyptian mummification practices with Greco-Roman portraiture to preserve their subjects for eternity”.



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Whilst researching information and inspiration for the “Women around Jesus” possible painting series, I came across many photos, some of saints and women in the Bible who were familiar and then, photos of which the above sketch is part of.  They are Fayum Portraits. Then an interesting article “Women in Ancient Christianity”, featuring the photo of the above original Fayum colour portrait- but with no credit or information about the photo.  I had already seen in my earlier research, and concluded that this was indeed serendipity.  Fayum Mummy portraits are amongst the most ancient paintings, created some 2000 years ago.  Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy  or funerary portraits are a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to upper class mummies from Roman Egypt. They belong to the tradition of panel painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. The Fayum portraits are the only large body of art from that tradition to have survived. They were formerly, and incorrectly, called Coptic portraits.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayum_mummy_portraits


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