Mummy Portrait of a Woman from Fayum, Egypt. This portrait is on thick wood. The woman wears a necklace and earrings raised in plaster and gilded. There is cloth stuck to the sides and back. Between i (Roman Imperial). encaustic on wood
Long before realistic portrait painting developed in Europe in the Renaissance, Roman-Egyptian artists did striking likenesses in wax on limewood. These Fayum funeral portraits date from around 100 CE.
Fayum mummy portrait - These very individual portraits arose in the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society of Roman Egypt. Most are painted in an elaborate encaustic technique [pigments were mixed into beeswax, along with egg, resin, and/or linseed oil]