Mummy Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum

David L. Thompson


76 pages

PDF file size: 6.51 MB


These extraordinary Egyptian images produced from Julio-Claudian times through the age of Constantine (the first four centuries A.D.), seem often to have been commissioned while the subject was still alive and displayed in the home. At death, the portrait was inserted into the deceased’s mummy wrappings. Thirteen mummy portraits from the Getty Museum’s collection are catalogued in this text by Dr. David Thompson. Placing the works in the context of other so-called Fayum paintings, Dr. Thompson examines their importance as portraits and identifies the hands of individual painters. Numerous illustrations accompany his discussion.

About the Authors

David L. Thompson is professor of classics at Howard University.