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This portrait was excavated from a burial chamber and dates to the second century AD, when Egypt was part of the Roman Empire. A middle-aged man directly confronts the viewer through his large heavy-lidded, golden-brown eyes. His portraitist has taken care to paint every hair of his beard and moustache so that they appear coarse and wiry. A gold wreath of leaves with a flower at its centre garlands his curly hair. Folds of cream-coloured drapery curve around his neck, crossing diagonally at his chest. At the far left of his tunic is a deep red clavus, a coloured stripe that denoted status in Rome.
probably 2nd C–3rd C
Probably encaustic on wood
H 42 x W 22 cm
Mond Bequest, 1924