Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sitting for the Grave, collage a day for July 22, 2010

The Fayum grave paintings have long fascinated me. They are painted in encaustic on wood--I adore wax!--and are some of the most hauntingly beautiful portraits to have survived from Antiquity. Recently I googled "Fayum portraits" and came across several web pages devoted to these paintings: (which features an extensive catalog, with current location, of many of the portraits)
This article on MMA's site, about a single painting,  is nevertheless very insightful:
And so forth! We all know how to use Google, right?

 The Fayum portraits, though conceived and rendered in the prevailing Graeco-Roman style, were of the citizens of the Egyptian colonies.  Thus the huge, dark eyes and semitic features that are the most arresting feature of many of them.

I have used one of these portraits in my collage for today. Forgive my audacity in co-opting a timelessly beautiful piece of art. This is one of my favorite Fayum portraits. Her style is so sleek, so au courant, that it makes me gasp. She must've been the Audrey Hepburn of her era. Which leads me to wonder, did she die this young? Is this an "animated" portrait of her corpse? An attempt on the part of the painter to see the young woman through the wrinkles and gaps of the actual corpse?

Any way you look at it, these portraits are astounding works of art, global treasures on a scale that defies space and time.  We are so privileges to have them among us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...