Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a young woman in red

Roman Period
A.D. 90–120
From Egypt
Encaustic, limewood, gold leaf
H. 38.1 x W. 18.4 cm (15 x 7 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137
The background of this portrait was originally gilded, emphasizing the divine status of the deceased young woman. She looks at the viewer with large serious eyes, accentuated by long lashes. A mass of loose curls covers her head, and some strands fall along the back of her neck on the left side. Framed by the black hair, deeply shadowed neck, and dark red tunic, her brightly lit face stands out in appealing youthfulness, an impression that is heightened by the gold wreath and
sparkling jewelry.

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
#3531. Portrait of a young woman in red
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
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. 71, fig. 7.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1911. A Handbook of the Egyptian Rooms. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 59 [right].

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

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

Swindler, Mary Hamilton 1929. Ancient painting, from the earliest times to the period of Christian art. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 319 ff., fig. 512.

Galassi, Giuseppe 1953. Roma o Bisanzio, 1. Rome: Librerio dello Stato, pp. 138, 579, fig. 64.

Parlasca, Klaus 1966. Mumienporträts und verwandte Denkmäler. Wiesbaden: Steiner, p. 42 (nn. 172, 177), p. 240 (nn. 213, 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, pp. 43-44, no. 308.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 86-87.

Doxiades, Euphrosyne 1995. Mysterious Fayum Portraits. London: H.N. Abrams, pp. 153-153, pl. 97.

Borg, Barbara E. 1996. Mumienporträts, Chronologie, und Kulturelle Kontext. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, p. 192.

Hill, Marsha 2000. "Roman Egypt." In The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West, edited by Elizabeth J. Milleker. New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 99, fig. 80, p. 208.

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