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Two Fayum Mummy Portraits Reunited in Ontario After a Century Apart

They were initially obtained together in 1912.

Mummy Portraits Fayoum

Two well-preserved Fayum mummy portraits have recently been put on permanent display for the public at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Saturday May 18th, reports Art Daily.

The two portraits, which were initially bought together in 1912, have been apart for over 100 years after one of the paintings was placed at the National Gallery of Canada and the other in Ontario. Both the mummy portraits were originally bought at a London auction by Founder and First Director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archeology, Charles T. Currelly. The portraits currently reside at ROM thanks to the Mona Campbell Endowment Fund and the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust. 

The two mummy portraits to be displayed at ROM were unearthed by British archaeologist and Egyptologist, Sir Flinder Petrie, who discovered around 81 mummy portraits in Faiyum, in 1888. 

This type of portraits is said to have first become known when unearthed by farmers in Fayum in 1887. After being Acquired by Viennese antique connoisseur, Theodor Von Graf, the pieces were then showcased in Berlin, Munich, Paris, Brussels, London and New York.

Others believe that the first Fayum portrait was actually unearthed in Saqqara in 1615 by the Italian, Pietro Della Valla.

Dating back to the imperial Roman era, the Fayum Mummy Portraits are paintings depicting the deceased of the upper class of the era, and they were found in different areas across Egypt, with the biggest bulk having been found in Fayum. They were painted with either wax or tempera to help identify the deceased.   

MainImage: Art Daily