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The Fayum Portraits

Mar - 1 - 2013

The Fayum Portraits: Greek and Roman painting style, encaustic (from enkaio “to burn-in” ) on wood, part of the Egyptian culture (funeral portraits). They show the faces of the inhabitants of ancient Egypt at a period influenced by Greeks and Romans. The Fayum portraits are the best preserved paintings of Antiquity. Some of these produced by Greeks who worked in Egypt, part of the Greek population that settled in cities like Alexandria, when Egypt was ruled by Greek kings after the peaceful conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great. The portraits, many from Fayum, are from a period when Romans followed the Greeks as rulers and their influence is shown (for example Roman fashion). Examples were found in various Necropolises: in Memphis (Saqqara), Philadelphia (Er-Rubayat and ‘Kerke’), Arsinoe (Hawara), Antinoopolis, Panopolis (Akhmim), Marina el-Alamein, Thebes and el-Hiba (Ankyronpolis) and other places.

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