The "Louvre - DNP Museum Lab" is a joint project, begun by the Musée du Louvre and Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) in 2006, which seeks to offer new approaches to artworks. Three portraits of women from Roman-Egyptian antiquity (2nd century A.D.) will be on show for the final presentation in the first phase of this project. Alongside original works, multimedia mediation using digital information and communication technology will allow viewers to discover the specific features of these paintings, as well as of the portrait art developed by Egyptian artisans in the 2nd century A.D. at a time when three civilizations were coming together. The insights provided will enable visitors to gain an in-depth understanding of the works exhibited.
Artworks on display
The artworks that are displayed in this presentation are Ancient Egyptian portraits created in the 2nd century A.D. during the period of Roman domination. They belong to a group commonly known as "Fayum portraits". Painted on wood during the models' lifetimes, they were fixed to their mummies when they died. Around a thousand images of this type are known to exist to date, found buried among grave goods and protected by Egypt's dry climate; today they are among the oldest known examples of portraits painted on wood using the encaustic* technique. These works, the fruit of a hybridization of Egyptian funerary rites, the Greek technique of encaustic painting, and the Roman tradition of realistic portraits, reflect the cultural blend prevalent in Egypt at the time. Among the three works on display, the portrait known as "L'Européenne" is one of the major artworks in the Louvre's collection in the quality of its execution and the beauty of the woman's features.
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