Object of the Week: Funerary Portrait

This ancient Funerary Portrait uses Greco-Roman methods to honor the deceased and allows us to lock eyes with a 2,000 year-old Egyptian tradition. One of the most extraordinary aspects of Egyptian art is the consistent portrayal of the human form. Developed around the year 2900 BC, during the Predynastic period, this style of portraying the human form remained consistent for 3,000 years, through the time of the Romans, and remains recognizable to most contemporary viewers. Maybe there’s something else recognizable about this Funerary Portrait?

Image: Egyptian Funerary Portrait, 1st–2nd century, tempera on wood, 16 5/16 x 8 1/2 in., Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 50.62.