A rather peculiar corpus of images, painted funerary portraits from Egypt, is investigated here, in order to show: (i) that through the consistent representation of different social personae, in different age groups (male and female children, young males and girls, brides and mothers), these portraits do convey social norms and values; (ii) that they heavily rely on stereotypes; (iii) that the image of likeness they convey is at least part of the social function of these objects, rejecting the objections of scholars positively proposing that the ‘livelihood’ the portraits exhibit should be regarded as a proof that they have been painted during the deceased’ person lifetime for a primary domestic function.The portraits are mainly aimed at representing ‘social types’ and the ‘likeness’ they exhibit should be regarded as an intended goal, the result of the painters’ high craftsmanship, conveying to these objects a ‘scent of life’. The evidence from the 'Fayum' portraits shows the macroscopic presence of certain groups of individuals (children and young people of both genders, in different age groups, young ‘brides’, soldiers...): considering the extremely low percentage of painted portraits in comparison with the mummies found (1:100), we could consider the painted portraits from Egypt as ‘formal portraits’: mostly represented, among the portrayed person, are young people, whose untimely death is stressed, so emphasizing the loss both on the family side and on the social group’s side.

Fayum Painted Portraits

BRAGANTINI, Irene
2011

Abstract

A rather peculiar corpus of images, painted funerary portraits from Egypt, is investigated here, in order to show: (i) that through the consistent representation of different social personae, in different age groups (male and female children, young males and girls, brides and mothers), these portraits do convey social norms and values; (ii) that they heavily rely on stereotypes; (iii) that the image of likeness they convey is at least part of the social function of these objects, rejecting the objections of scholars positively proposing that the ‘livelihood’ the portraits exhibit should be regarded as a proof that they have been painted during the deceased’ person lifetime for a primary domestic function.The portraits are mainly aimed at representing ‘social types’ and the ‘likeness’ they exhibit should be regarded as an intended goal, the result of the painters’ high craftsmanship, conveying to these objects a ‘scent of life’. The evidence from the 'Fayum' portraits shows the macroscopic presence of certain groups of individuals (children and young people of both genders, in different age groups, young ‘brides’, soldiers...): considering the extremely low percentage of painted portraits in comparison with the mummies found (1:100), we could consider the painted portraits from Egypt as ‘formal portraits’: mostly represented, among the portrayed person, are young people, whose untimely death is stressed, so emphasizing the loss both on the family side and on the social group’s side.
9789777164306
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Bragantini_Fayoum.pdf

non disponibili

Licenza: PUBBLICO - Pubblico con Copyright
2.85 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/36946
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
social impact