Mummy Mask of a Young Man

unknownabout 50

Museum Folkwang

Museum Folkwang

This mummy mask of stucco (plaster) in a Roman-Egyptian mixed style belongs to the final phase of Egyptian culture. After their conquest of Egypt (30 B.C.), the Romans kept old Egyptian death customs such as mummifying the dead and modeling its head. The conventional Ptolemaic cartonnage mask gained individual characteristics under the influence of Roman portrait art. While the so-called mummy portraits, painted panels of the dead, soon replaced traditional cartonnage masks in Fayum and Lower Egypt, formed masks of stucco remained is use in Middle Egypt. Unlike the artistically impressive mummy portraits painted on wooden panels using tempera or encaustic (wax painting), stucco masks are not clearly individual depictions, but rather products produced in series. About 1200 stucco masks from the Roman imperial period are known today. The masks were cast in serial forms and then carefully worked. Special attention was paid to the anatomically formed and painted eyes. From the Hadrian period, the eyes were decorated with transparent glass leaflets cut in form or were formed with a glass paste. The multi-colored painting of the coiffure and clothing gives the masks the character of an individual depiction.

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  • Title: Mummy Mask of a Young Man
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: about 50
  • Location: Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: w15 x h24,6 x d9,3 cm
  • Copyrights: © Museum Folkwang
  • Collection: Archaeology, Global Art, Applied Arts
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1906 for the Museum Folkwang Hagen, since 1922 Essen
  • Type: Small sculpture
  • Medium: Stucco on sand base, painted in various colours