Fayium oasis – Egypt mid-4th century A. D. - Portrait of a Girl
The Fayium oasis in the Nile Delta was the place where a few hundred portraits were found; thanks to a collector and art dealer Theodor Graf, most of them, this one included, arrived in Vienna and from there in various collections worldwise. All the portraits found there are painted in the same encaustic technique (i. e. with wax paints or tempera, or the combination of the two) and style - the face is represented en face; accentuated, large, wide-open eyes are fixed on the viewer. They are linked to ancient Egyptian burial cult - the panels were inserted in the canvas enveloping the mummy, over the face of the deceased. The execution of the panel, the hairstyle and clothing reflect the influence of Roman portraiture of the time, and on the basis of the fashion features characteristic of the period, the Prague portrait can be dated into the mid-4th century A. D.
measurements: height 41,5 cm
width 21 cm
material: cedar wood
technique: tempera
inventory number: O 1781
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters