Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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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.

Link to the Artist Project
Y.Z. Kami on Egyptian mummy portraits
#3538: Portrait of a Youth with a Surgical Cut in one Eye
: / 
#3695: Portrait of a Youth with a Surgical Cut in one Eye
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Purchased from Maurice Nahman in Cairo, 1909

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1910. "Græco–Egyptian Portraits." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 3 (March), p. 68, fig. 4.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1911. A Handbook of the Egyptian Rooms. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 59 (left).

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1913. A Handbook of the Egyptian Rooms. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 59 [left].

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1916. A Handbook of the Egyptian Rooms. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 59 [left].

Swindler, Mary Hamilton 1929. Ancient painting, from the earliest times to the period of Christian art. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 319, fig. 513.

Drerup, Heinrich 1933. Die Datierung der Mumienporträts, 19. Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur des Altertums, 1. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, pp. 42, 61[4], pl. 15a.

Kittel, Gerhard and Eugen Fischer 1943. Das Antike Weltjudentum, 7. Forschungen zur Judenfrage, Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, p. 156, fig. 150.

Azevedo, M. Cagiano de 1960. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Classica e Orientall, 3. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, p. 332, figs. 403-404.

Parlasca, Klaus 1966. Mumienporträts und verwandte Denkmäler. Wiesbaden: Steiner, p. 42, no. 172, pp. 132, 253.

Berger, Jacques-Edouard and René Creux 1977. L'oeil & l'éternité: portraits romains d'Egypte. Paudeux, p. 216.

Parlasca, Klaus 1977. Ritratti di Mummie, Ser B- II. Repertorio d'arte dell'Egitto Greco-Romano, Palermo: Fondazione Mormino, p. 85, no. 470, pl. 114.2.

Doxiades, Euphrosyne 1995. Mysterious Fayum Portraits. London: H.N. Abrams, p. 153, fig. 56, p. 219.

Borg, Barbara E. 1996. Mumienporträts, Chronologie, und Kulturelle Kontext. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, pp. 84, 161.

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

Johnson, Horton A. 2005. "Fish Bile and Cautery: Trachoma Treatment in Art." In Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 98, p. 30-31.

Arnold, Dorothea and David T. Mininberg 2005. "Mummy Portrait." In The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt, edited by James P. Allen and David T. Mininberg. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 37–38, no. 32.

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