The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 22, 2024

Funerary Portrait of a Young Girl

Funerary Portrait of a Young Girl

c. 25–37 CE
Overall: 39.4 x 17.4 cm (15 1/2 x 6 7/8 in.)

Did You Know?

This painting can be dated based on the hairstyle popular at the end of the reign of Emperor Tiberius (reigned 14–37 CE).

Description

Transforming the spirit—not beautifying the mortal body—may have been the purpose of adding golden lips and jewelry to this painting. Egyptian-style burial customs and arts persisted throughout Greek, Roman, and Byzantine rule over Egypt (305 BCE–641 CE). The woman depicted in this panel lived between cultures. Her or her family’s choice of mummification reflected historical Egyptian practices of creating a physical “duplicate” for the deceased’s soul to rest in, and their decision to color her lips gold here may symbolize how death transformed her into an akh (effective spirit). In contrast, the choice of her clothing and hairstyle showed her embrace of contemporary ideals of Hellenic (Greco-Roman) Egyptian identity.
  • Hawara, Egypt
    1971-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
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    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 18 archive.org
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    Berger, Jacques-Edouard, Klaus Parlasca, and Rosario Pintaudi. El-Fayyum. Milano: F.M. Ricci, 1985. pp. 62-3
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1991. Reproduced: p. 12 archive.org
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    Doxiadis, Euphrosyne. The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson, 1995. p. 68, no. 55, pp. 201-2
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    Berman, Lawrence M., and Kenneth J. Bohač. Catalogue of Egyptian Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999 Reproduced: p. 506; Mentioned: p. 506-7
    Windmuller-Luna, Kristen. “Africa & Byzantium: Spectacular treasures from diverse lands joined by deserts, seas, and rivers.” Cleveland Art: Cleveland Museum of Art Members Magazine vol. 64, no. 1 (2024): Cover, 4-7, 24. Reproduced: Cover; Mentioned: P. 4-6.
  • Africa & Byzantium. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (co-organizer) (April 14-July 21, 2024).
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  • {{cite web|title=Funerary Portrait of a Young Girl|url=false|author=|year=c. 25–37 CE|access-date=22 May 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1971.137