Back to overview

Mummy portrait of a man

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The portrait of a young man is executed in encaustic on a thin wooden panel, which is fastened on a mummy with golden decorations on the wrapping. The portrait is slightly fragmented. The portrait’s polychromy is well-preserved with colours of brown, black, red and white.

Description of object

The portrait of a young man is executed in encaustic on a thin wooden panel, which is fastened on a mummy. The outer sheet and the wrappings of the mummy are of linen. The outer layer of the mummy is decorated with golden images: two udjat eyes, two Horus falcons on his chest, a goddess with outspread wings below and Osiris with two serpents by the legs of the mummy. The portrait is slightly fragmented around the face, so much of the hair and the forehead have not been preserved. He is rendered in three-quarter view. His hair is rendered in a dark brown colour and he has wide eyebrows, rendered in black. The eyes are large and rendered in black and his nose is prominent. The young man is rendered with a black moustache. He has a mouth with full lips, which are rendered in dark red colour. His neck is long. His skin colour is rendered in brown and reddish colours. The young man is wearing a white chiton with a rounded necklinge and a red clavus is visible on his right shoulder.

Choice of methods

Technical imaging

  • UV
  • VIL
  • IR

Other types of investigation

An x-ray examination has revealed that the mummy is that of a young man as suggested by the look of the portrait.


W.M.F. Petrie (1911), Roman Portraits and Memphis IV, London, 15, pl. VII, XI & XXI.

V. Schmidt (1919), Sarkofager, Mumiekister og Mumiehylstre i det gamle Ægypten: Typologisk Atlas med Indledning, København, 248, fig. 1435.

K. Parlasca (1966), Mümienporträts und verwandte Denkmäler, Deutsches Archäologisches Instituts, Wiesbaden, 190, 251, 268.

O.E. Christensen (1969), Un examen radiologique des momies égyptiennes de musées danois, in La semaine des höpitaux de Paris année, no. 28, 14 juin, 1996, fig. 7 (incorrectly listed as ÆIN 1425).

K. Parlasca (1969), Repertorio d’arte dell’Egitto greco-romano, a cura di A. Adriani, serie B vol. I di Klaus Parlasca, tavole 1-60, numeri 1-246, 70, no. 158, Tav. 38 (3).

L.H. Corcoran (1995), Portrait Mummies from Roman Egypt (I-IV Centuries A.D.) with a catalog of Portrait Mummies in Egyptian Museums, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilisations, no. 56, Chicago, 11, 33, 40, 42-43, 220.

B. Borg (1996), Mumienporträts, Chronologie und kulturelle Kontext, Deutsches Archäologisches Instituts, Mainz, 132, 146 (Rep. 158), 222.

K. Parlasca & H. Seemann (1999), Augenblicke, Mumienporträts und ägyptische Grabkunst aus römischer Zeit, Eine Ausstellung der Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 30. Januar bis 11. April 1999, München, 52-53.

M. Jørgensen (2001), Egypt III, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 328-329, cat. no. 33.

  • ÆIN 1426
  • Portrait
  • c. 100-125 C.E.
  • Egypt: Late Period
  • Encaustic on wood.
  • Acquired in 1911 from W.M.F. Petrie's excavations.
  • H. 29 cm.

Selected photos

  • _in1426_ir_t
  • _in1426_ir_d_face
  • _in1426_ir_d_neck
  • _in1426_uv_t
  • _in1426_vil_t
  • _in_1426__detalje_1
  • _in_1426__detalje_2_tif