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Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt

Doxiadis, Euphrosyne

19 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0810933314 / ISBN 13: 9780810933316
Published by Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1995
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Monroe Street Books
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About this Item

256 pages. Hardcover with dust jacket. Color pictures. Related ephemera laid in. Page block lightly warped, otherwise red cloth boards Clean, unmarked. Light edgewear to dust jacket. Record # 468777. Bookseller Inventory # 468777

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from ...

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, New York

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

About this title

Synopsis:

The Fayum portraits were created by the people of a flourishing district of Roman Egypt during the first three centuries AD. In the old Egyptian tradition, these people embalmed the bodies of their dead, but then they placed over the mummy, a painted portrait to preserve the memory of each individual. Over 1000 portraits have so far been discovered of men, women and children. This book features over 100 of these ancient paintings. The explanatory text sets the people and the paintings in their social, artistic and geographical context, and describes the artistic techniques used in their creation.

Review:

The Fayum, a flourishing metropolitan community in ancient Egypt, consisted of Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, and others. Like many of their contemporaries throughout the Nile Valley, these people embalmed their dead and then painted commemorative portraits of them, usually on wood or linen, to be placed over the mummies. Looking into the well-preserved, startlingly lifelike faces collected in this beautiful volume, one can trace the earliest roots of portraiture as it began in these Greco-Roman Fayum, or mummy, portraits, and continued through the Renaissance to the present. Despite their ancient history, the stylized portraits appear strikingly modern and painterly, with echoes of Modigliani and Matisse. Having experimented with them herself, Euphrosyne Doxiadis describes in detail the painting techniques and materials. Also included are fascinating notes on the clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles of the period.

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