Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a man with a mole on his nose

Roman Period
A.D. 130–150
From Egypt
Encaustic, limewood
H. 39.4 x W. 19.3 cm (15 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 138
Although the panel shape and palette of paintings 09.181 and 09.181.2 are very similar, differences in the hair and beards suggest that the portrait of the man with the mole (09.181.2) is about a generation earlier than the other.

The man with the mole is turned from a three-quarters right position to direct his arresting gaze toward the viewer. His enormous eyes have highlights and are further emphasized by pink paint along the lids. Pink was also used to shade the long nose. His flesh is a warm peach color.

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
Purchased from Maurice Nahman in Cairo, 1909

Ricci, Seymour de 1908. "Comptes Rendus des Séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres." In Lettres de Seymour de Ricci, 52, p. 802, fig. 4.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1910. "Græco–Egyptian Portraits." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 3 (March), p. 70.

Drerup, Heinrich 1933. Die Datierung der Mumienporträts, 19. Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur des Altertums, 1. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, pp. 13, 37, 56[14] pl. 8.

Zaloscher, Hilde 1964. "The Mummy-Portrait: An Interpretation." In Apollo, 79, fig. 7.

Parlasca, Klaus 1966. Mumienporträts und verwandte Denkmäler. Wiesbaden: Steiner, p. 41 no. 172, p. 42, no. 175, p. 199, no. 38.

Berger, Jacques-Edouard and René Creux 1977. L'oeil & l'éternité: portraits romains d'Egypte. Paudeux, pp. 116, 216.

Parlasca, Klaus 1977. Ritratti di Mummie, Ser B- II. Repertorio d'arte dell'Egitto Greco-Romano, Palermo: Fondazione Mormino, p. 45, no. 312, pl. 74.1.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, fig. 178, p. 91.

Doxiades, Euphrosyne 1995. Mysterious Fayum Portraits. London: H.N. Abrams, pp. 153-155, 219, fig. 97.

Borg, Barbara E. 1996. Mumienporträts, Chronologie, und Kulturelle Kontext. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, pp. 79, 186.

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