Portrait of a Woman from Hawara in the Fayum Basin
Date ca. 110-130 CE
Medium Encaustic on wooden panel
Provenance Hawara in the Fayum Basin, Egypt
Housed at Royal Museum of Scotland
In the Egyptian style, this panel portrait would have been placed over an embalmed mummy. However, the subject’s appearance is clearly Roman: rows of black ringlets compose her hair, she wears an abundance of fine jewelry, and a crimson tunic drapes her figure. These details are all the more vivid given the encaustic medium, as bold pigments shine through the wax upon which they were placed.