Collection Highlights: Antiquities
Double-sided mummy portrait
Egyptian, encaustic paint on wood, 38 x 14.8 cm, 2nd century AD. AN1966.1112.
The use of a painted portrait of the deceased to replace the impersonal mummy-mask of Egyptian funerary tradition was an introduction of the Roman period. This example is unusual in being double-sided; its former owner, Sir John Beazley (who gave it in 1966), thought that the plain girl on the reverse side might be the elder sister of the pretty one on the front, but the similarity of facial features and jewellery suggests that they are the same girl, depicted in formal and informal dress.
Human Image (Gallery 2), Ground Floor, Case Q015