Circa: 1 st Century AD to 2 nd Century AD
Dimensions: 9.625" (24.4cm) high
Style: Roman Period
Medium: Plaster, Glass
Our portrait head depicts a young man in the prime of his life. His hair is arranged in a style fashionable among Roman aristocrats in during the first half of the first century AD, at which time Egypt was administered by agents of the Roman emperors. His facial features are rendered in an idealizing manner so that he might be able to spend eternity in perfect health. His skin tones are rendered in a light-brownish hue. His mouth is small with a slightly fleshier lower lip, his nose thin-bridged, his eyes brows, plastically rendered as paint stripes and painted black, as are the horizontally arranged rows of tight curls of his hair. His large, almond-shaped eyes are inlaid with glass and sparkle in a manner that imbues the face with a life-like, realistic quality which is enhanced by the presence of painted eye lashes.
Objects such as our portrait were placed over the heads of mummies of elite members of Egypt’s aristocracy during the Roman Imperial Period. These individuals may have been highly placed members of the bureaucracy of the time, and proclaimed their allegiance to Rome by their dress and coiffures. Such Egyptian creations find their closest parallels in Roman portraits in marble of the period, and are to be considered as belonging to that rich tradition of Roman portraiture.