One of the recurrent daydreams of those fascinated by the past is to be able to unlock the doors of history and gaze at the faces of men and women who lived two thousand years ago, to look into their eyes and catch their expressions, their personalities, their presence. It is just this extraordinary experience that the Fayum portraits provide. These remarkable paintings take their name from the oasis in which they were found, whose people in the first three centuries a.d. included Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Syrians, Libyans, Nubians, and Jews. In the old Egyptian tradition, they and their contemporaries in other parts of the Nile Valley embalmed the bodies of their dead; but they then placed over the mummy a painted portrait, to preserve the memory of each individual. The Fayum portraits are by far the largest body of ancient easel-painting to have survived. Over 1,000 portraits have so far been discovered—men, women, and children, young and old, plain and beautiful, painted in perfect realism or in vivid stylization. A few have become familiar, but most of the portraits have been neglected by art historians and are unknown to the general public. Illustrating almost 200 of the portraits, this book combines arresting beauty with up-to-date scholarship. Selecting the most interesting of the paintings, the author has, for the first time, grouped them according to the places where they were found, allowing us to recreate communities and relationships. Many new photographs were commissioned for this book, which reproduces some portraits in color for the first time, and shows others since cleaning. An explanatory text sets the people and paintings in their social, artistic, and geographical context, describes the painting techniques used, and shows how the Fayum portraits relate to Byzantine icon-painting.
The Mysterious Fayum Portraits
Faces from Ancient Egypt
Foreword byDorothy J. Thompson
150 b/w, 124 color illus.
For sale only in Egypt
Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Vol. 82Supreme Council of Antiquities
For centuries, Egyptian civilization and its antiquities have inspired passionate interest. Archaeologists, engineers, astronomers, poets, painters, people of different cultures, and travelers have been riveted by Egypt’s ancient monuments. How much do we really know about these awe-inspiring wonders of the ancient world? This publication provides an up-to-date account of archaeology in the land of the pharaohs, including new discoveries and recent studies. This authoritative volume remains the definitive source for the findings of the various archaeological excavations undertaken in Egypt. For more than a hundred years, the Annales du Service has been studied by Egyptologists, students, and laypersons alike. Published under the auspices of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, its contributors include some of the most well-known Egyptologists in the world covering a broad range of archaeological disciplines and spectrums. This volume of the Supreme Council of Antiquities’s scholarly journal documents the latest excavations and projects at various sites throughout Egypt, including the Ammoneion project at Siwa Oasis, the Amenmesse project at Luxor, and the conservation of the monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur....read more
15 October 2010
Ancient Egyptian Art
A Visual Encyclopedia
A Visual EncyclopediaAlice Cartocci
From the earliest clay figures and ivory combs of Predynastic times, through the masterful statuary of the Old Kingdom and the exquisite tomb paintings of the New Kingdom, to the astonishingly modern painted portraits of the Greco-Roman era, the artistic achievements of Egypt span over four thousand years. In this unique new visual reference work, the finest examples of Egyptian art from museum collections around the world are illustrated to advantage in more than 360 beautiful full-color photographs. Not only a feast for the eyes, this book is informative too, with introductions to each historical period, graphic summaries of Egyptian history and great archaeological discoveries, and a chronology and glossary. This celebration and pageant of ancient Egyptian creative expression deserves a place on the shelves of Egyptologists and art lovers alike....read more
1 March 2010
360 color illus.
The British Museum Concise Introduction
The British Museum Concise IntroductionT.G.H. James
The British Museum Concise Introduction to Ancient Egypt provides a lively and accessible introduction to ancient Egyptian life and culture set in the specific geography of the land and its river, the Nile, within the historical framework of the dynastic sequence. The nearly independent chapters provide a comprehensive and entertaining survey of ancient Egypt and its rich and well-documented culture. The principal topics incorporate significant older as well as more recent scholarship, spiced with ideas based on the author’s long experience in the study of ancient Egypt, making stimulating and thought-provoking reading. In addition to individual chapter bibliographies there is a general bibliography, an annotated list of important museum collections, a king list with a selected set of illustrated royal cartouches, and a general index. Highlights include: • Lively overviews distilled from the latest discoveries and research • Maps, plans, reconstruction drawings, chronologies, site lists and recommendations for further reading • Hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations...read more
90 color, 35 b/w illus.
Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris
Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of OsirisDavid O’Connor
As both the burial place of the first pharaohs and a cult center for the god Osiris, Abydos was of immense importance to the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years and continues to yield spectacular discoveries. However, no full analysis of the site has been written in the last thirty years. Here David O’Connor provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the site’s extraordinary history, as well as telling the story of his own excavations there. O’Connor himself has made some of the most remarkable finds of recent years, including a royal burial consisting of a fleet of fourteen boats, buried far out in the desert. This beautifully illustrated and authoritative book fills a significant gap in the literature on ancient Egypt and will be of interest both to students and to anyone who ever wondered about the origins of one of the greatest civilizations in world history....read more
114 illus. incl. 11 color