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Mummy portrait of a man

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The portrait of a man is fastened on a mummy and is very well-preserved. The face of the man is painted in many colours; black for the hair, the skin in colours of pink, green and yellow and the lips are red.

Description of object

The portrait of a man is fastened on a mummy and is very well-preserved. The outermost covering of the mummy is a layer of bindings arranged in a rhomboid pattern, enclosing the wrappings and the desiccated human body. The outer bindings and wrappings are made of linen and the portrait is made in executed encaustic on heavy linen. The man is portrayed with a slight turn of the head. He has short, black hair, wide black eyebrows and the shadow of a dark beard is visible on his cheeks, upper lip and chin. His brown eyes are large. The ears are rendered close to the head. He has deep contours around his nose and mouth. His nose is prominent and the mouth is full and painted red.

Choice of methods

Technical imaging

  • UV
  • VIL
  • IR

Visual examination

The hair, eyebrows and the shade of the beard is rendered in black. His skin colour consists of many colours, both pink, yellow, and green.His lips are red.

Other types of investigation

Medical examination of the remains has revealed that the mummy is of a middle-aged man who died before the age of 50.


W.M.F. Petrie (1913), The Hawara Portfolio, London, pl. XI.

V. Schmidt (1919), Sarkofager, Mumiekister og Mumiehylstre i det gamle Ægypten: Typologisk Atlas med Indledning, København, XVII, 245, fig. 1425, fig. 1517-1519.

M. Mogensen (1930), Den ægyptiske Samling, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København, A 591.

K. Parlasca (1966), Mümienporträts und verwandte Denkmäler , Deutsches Archäologisches Instituts, Wiesbaden, 20 (note 17), 52, 66, 73, 100ff. 252-254, 268, Tfl. 16.

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, 1996-1997, fig. 8 (incorrectly listed as ÆIN 1426).

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, 37, no. 40, Tav. 11 (2).

K. Parlasca, J-E. Berger & R. Pintaudi (1985), el-Fayyum, Milano, 38-39.

L.H. Corcoran (1995), Portrait Mumimes 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, 9, 17, 20, 22-27, 69, 220.

E. Doxiadis (1995), The Mysterious Fayum Portraits, Faces from Ancient Egypt, London, 144, 195-196, 246, fig. 32.

B. Borg (1998), ‘Der zeierlichste Anblick der Welt…’ Ägyptische Porträtmumien, Sonderhefte der Antiken Welt, Zaberns Bildbände zur Archäologie, Mainz, 194 (with note 27).

A.M. Nielsen (1998), Det sidste Ansigt, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København, 42, 45-51, 70-71, fig. 15-19.

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, 25, 28, 40.

M. Jørgensen (2001), Egypt III, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 326-327, cat. no. 32, 356-357.

  • ÆIN 1425
  • Portrait
  • c. 25-75 C.E.
  • Egypt: Late Period
  • Encaustic on linen.
  • Acquired in 1911 from W.M.F Petrie's excavations.
  • H. 25 cm.

Selected photos

  • In_1425
  • _in1425_ir_d_eyes
  • _in1425_ir_d_mouth
  • _in1425_uv_t_painting
  • _in1425_vil_d_face
  • _in_1425__total

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6