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The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt. Foreword by Dorothy J. Thompson.

DOXIADIS, Euphrosyne:

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ISBN 10: 0810933314 / ISBN 13: 9780810933316
Published by New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995., 1995
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Ted Kottler, Bookseller (Redondo Beach, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First American Edition (first published the same year in London by Thames and Hudson). 248 pp; 124 illus. + other unnumbered illus. Original cloth, folio. Ex-library: faint ink stamp on each edge of pages, jacket taped to covers, bookplate on pastedown. Else Near Fine, in near fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 21429

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from ...

Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995.

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In the first three centuries A.D., in a fertile district of Roman Egypt called the Fayum, a diverse community of Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Syrians, Libyans, Nubians, and Jews flourished. These people, and many of their contemporaries throughout the Nile Valley, embalmed the bodies of their dead and then placed over the faces portraits painted on wooden panels or linen. These paintings, today known as Fayum, or mummy, portraits, were created to preserve the memory of each individual.
The Fayum portraits are by far the most important body of portraiture to have survived antiquity. Reproduced in this arresting book are some 180 of the finest of the more than 1,000 extant images - of men, women, and children, young and old, plain and beautiful - all of whom seem uncannily alive. A few of these faces have become familiar to scholars and museum-goers, but as a whole they have been neglected by art historians and will be new to most readers.

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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