Mummy Mask

Egypt
Roman period
c. A.D. 120-170
Stucco/gesso with paint, gold leaf, and glass inlays
11 9/16 x 7 5/8 x 5 1/2 in. (29.4 x 19.4 x 14 cm)
AP 1970.05
Currently On View
By the first century B.C., Rome had come to dominate the Mediterranean world. The influence of Roman funerary art and practices is very much apparent in this Egyptian mask. Its facial proportions and modeling derive from the Roman tradition of realistic portraiture, rather than from Egyptian prototypes. Made to cover the head of a mummy, the mask is hollow inside. The face was pressed from a mold, while the curling hair, ears, and beard were added to increase its portraitlike quality. The inset eyes, once-painted flesh, and gilded hair further embellished its striking visage.

Provenance

(Ben Heller, Inc. New York); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1970.