- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (July 17, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 050028217X
- ISBN-13: 978-0500282175
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt Paperback – July 17, 2000
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The Fayum, a flourishing metropolitan community in ancient Egypt, consisted of Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, and others. Like many of their contemporaries throughout the Nile Valley, these people embalmed their dead and then painted commemorative portraits of them, usually on wood or linen, to be placed over the mummies. Looking into the well-preserved, startlingly lifelike faces collected in this beautiful volume, one can trace the earliest roots of portraiture as it began in these Greco-Roman Fayum, or mummy, portraits, and continued through the Renaissance to the present. Despite their ancient history, the stylized portraits appear strikingly modern and painterly, with echoes of Modigliani and Matisse. Having experimented with them herself, Euphrosyne Doxiadis describes in detail the painting techniques and materials. Also included are fascinating notes on the clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles of the period. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Made in the lush Fayum region of Greco-Roman Egypt during the first three centuries A.D., portraits of the embalmed, mummified dead-each painted on a thin wooden panel or linen shroud and placed over the face to preserve the memory of the individual-are among the glories of world art. Staring at us with intense, disturbing gazes, these men and women speak to us as if from the otherworld, transcending mortality and death. Greek artist Doxiadis, who traveled to museums and collections around the world to study the Fayum portraits, has produced an important and beautiful volume that fills a major gap in the documentation of the art of antiquity. She reconstructs the Fayum painters' techniques and places the portraits in a pictorial tradition extending from fourth-century B.C. Greek naturalism to Byzantine icons. We see the Fayum portraits as the product of a cosmopolitan, multiracial society of Hellenized Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Jews, Libyans and Nubians who had largely adopted the Egyptian cult of the dead.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This actual book about the Fayum mummy portraits, by Euphryosyne Doxiodoxis is supposed to be the authoritative edition, and when you pick it up you'll understand that this is a thick and substantial coffeetable book on the topic. This quarto size of this book is a richly deserved treatment for these works of art which should be studied by anybody interested in doing portraits today. There had been a copy of this at the Getty Villa last August, it had a broken spine, when I returned there over Christmas, it was gone, maybe somebody else realized what a great book this is. Maybe somebody at the Getty press should run a new edition of this book?
Euphrosyne Doxiadis treats the fascinating subject with an outstanding degree of sensitivity and accuracy, and her writing is always crystal clear and matter-of-fact. Highly recommended!