I am making two of these for now. At least one will have the woven copper strips and a silver cap at the bottom just like this photo, all set in a copper bezel. I might do one in silver.
This recognition of a similarity to Fayum portraits came about well after the fact and I don’t compare myself to the ancient artists. I don’t remember these portraits/mummies from art history studies in college; I believe a concentrated interest in them has been a more recent event (than the ancient years of college). I am interested in not just the portraiture but some of the lovely patterns created in the coffins as can be seen in the photo below on the right. I would love to put some silver balls on the pendants like in this coffin.
The link at the bottom of this post shows a variety of these portraits. Some of them are stylized and some are very realistic like this one on the left.
There is thought
that perhaps sometimes the portraits were previously painted and then
cut down to fit on the coffin at the time of burial.
What surprised and interested me about the portraits is not just the overall look of them attached to the coffins, but that they were painted generally over 1,000 years before Italian and European artists even considered such naturalistic treatments of portraiture. Some of the Egyptian portraits were more stylized than realistic, and some were painted by more talented artists than others, but a look at medieval paintings of portraiture makes you begin to think about how a civilization influences the artists’ eye. You would not have found a portrait in medieval times that looks like the one above.