Face to Face: The People Behind Mummy Portraits
Face to Face: The People Behind Mummy Portraits is the first exhibition about ancient Egyptian mummy portraits in the Netherlands. Besides items from our own collection, the show includes masterworks from the Louvre, the J. Paul Getty Museum and other international collections. Mummy portraits, often painted on wooden panels, were made during the Roman period in Egypt, from the 1st to the 4th century AD, and placed over the faces of mummified persons. They are also known as Fayum portraits, after the region where most works were excavated. Some 38 portraits from all over the world have been gathered for this exhibition. They bring us face to face with just as many individuals who had themselves immortalized almost 2000 years ago.
Face to Face introduces visitors not only to the people portrayed but also to the makers, descendants, followers, collectors, archaeologists and researchers connected to these portraits. The exhibition gives a voice to various individuals who reflect on the portraits from their respective fields of expertise. Who were the people portrayed? How were they depicted and why? By whom were they seen?