The Fayum Mummy Portraits: Ancient Diseases Captured in the Brush Strokes of Realism

Archaeological excavations in the Fayum during the late 19th and early 20th century led to the unveiling of several striking painted mummy portraits, representing such profound realism, that they came to be regarded by some as works of exceptional artistic merit and quite possibly the “Rembrandts” of their time. We shall see how the haunting intensity of the eyes, and the impression of distorted facial features executed by the ancient artists, provide a window into the health of individuals that lived nearly 2000 years ago. 
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