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Portrait of a Youth with a Surgical Cut in one Eye

Period:
Roman Period
Date:
A.D. 190–210
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Encaustic paint on limewood
Dimensions:
H. 35 x W. 17.2 cm (13 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
09.181.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 138
The faint growth of hair on the jaws and upper lip identify the subject of this painting as a youth. Remarkably, his right eye seems to show signs of an abnormality that has been treated. The grayish fold of skin below the lower lid, the lack of lashes, and the slightly slack right cheek may be traces of the abnormality; the straight line on the lower lid suggests a surgical cut to relieve the condition. The palette of this panel is considerably lighter than that of the other panels in these galleries, but it does resemble that of certain paintings from Hawara in the Fayum.

For more on the technique used to create this portrait, see 09.181.1.
Purchased from Maurice Nahman in Cairo, 1909

Borg, Barbara E. 1998. "Die zierlichste Anblick der Welt ... ": Ägyptische Porträtmummien. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, p. 26, fig. 30.

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