This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world.
www.davidrumsey.com/amica offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
- Cultures and time periods represented
range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
- Types of works include paintings, drawings,
watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs,
textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.
Gain access to this incredible resource through either a
monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from
your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute
details of the images. Visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica
for more information on the collection, click on the link below the
revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at email@example.com
Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Portrait of a Boy
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 100
Creation End Date: 199
Creation Date: 2nd century C.E.
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Portraits
Materials and Techniques: encaustic on wood
Dimensions: H. 15 3/8 in. (39 cm), W. 7 1/2 in. (19 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 18.9.2
Credit Line: Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1918
The young teenage boy in this remarkably lifelike portrait looks calmly at the viewer, his head in three-quarter view. He is dressed in a white Roman tunic with a narrow purple clavus (a vertical stripe) over the right shoulder. A mantle is draped over the left shoulder. The boy wears his dark brown hair short, with locks brushed to both sides of the forehead. The inscription in dark purple pigment below the neckline of the tunic is in Greek, which was the common language of the eastern Mediterranean at the time. Scholars do not completely agree on the inscription's translation. The boy's name ('Eutyches, freedman of Kasanios') seems indisputable; then follows either 'son of Herakleides Evandros' or 'Herakleides, son of Evandros.' It is also unclear whether the 'I signed' at the end of the inscription refers to to the painter of the portrait or to the manumission (act of freeing a slave) that would have been witnessed by Herakleides or Evandros. An artist's signature would be unique in mummy portraits. Paintings of this type, often called Faiyum portraits (though not all of them come from the Faiyum oasis), are typical products of the multicultural, multiethnic society of Roman Egypt. Most of them are painted in the elaborate encaustic technique, in which pigments were mixed with hot or cold beeswax and other ingredients, such as egg, resin, and linseed oil. This versatile medium allowed artists to create images that in many ways are akin to oil paintings. The boy's head, for instance, stands out from the light olive-colored background creatin an impression of real depth. His face is modeled with flowing brushstrokes and a subtle blend of light and dark colors. Shadows on the left side of the face, neck, and garment and bright shiny spots on the forehead and below the right eye indicate a strong source of light on the boy's right. Most arresting are the dark brown eyes with black pupils reflecting the light with bright spots. This manner of painting, which is very different from the traditional Egyptian style but was well known in Greco-Roman Egypt, originated in Classical Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
Although the painting techique on Faiyum portrait panels is Greek, their use is entirely Egyptian. When a person died, the portrait panel was placed over the face of the mummy with parts of the outermost wrapping holding it in place. This implies Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife. After having been ruled for three hundred years by a Greek (Macedonian) dynasty and a century or more by Roman administrators, Roman Egypt was an extremely diverse civilization. The population consisted of Roman citizens and citizens of Greek cities such as Alexandria (both of these groups made up of peoples of many different ethnicities) and native Egyptians. The subjects of the mummy portraits, clearly were dressed and coiffed like Romans, and many of them bore Greek names or names that were Greek versions of Egyptian names. However, they and their families found consolation in the ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.
AMICA ID: MMA_.18.9.2
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at www.davidrumsey.com/amica/institution_subscribe.html c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.