Marie Svoboda, Caroline Cartwright (eds.), Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt: Emerging Research from the APPEAR Project, Getty Publications, 2020. Pb, 228 p., 169 color ills., ISBN 978-1-60606-654-6. $60.00.
Once interred with mummified remains, nearly a thousand funerary portraits from Roman Egypt survive today in museums around the world, bringing viewers face-to-face with people who lived two thousand years ago. Until recently, few of these paintings had undergone in-depth study to determine by whom they were made and how.
An international collaboration known as APPEAR (Ancient Panel Paintings: Examination, Analysis, and Research) was launched in 2013 to promote the study of these objects and to gather scientific and historical findings into a shared database. The first phase of the project was marked with a two-day conference at the Getty Villa. Conservators, scientists, and curators presented new research on topics such as provenance and collecting, comparisons of works across institutions, and scientific studies of pigments, binders, and supports. The papers and posters from the conference are collected in this publication, which offers the most up-to-date information available about these fascinating remnants of the ancient world.
This open-access catalogue is available for free online and in multiple formats for download, including PDF, MOBI/Kindle, and EPUB. For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale.
Marie Svoboda is conservator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She is coauthor of Herakleides: A Portrait Mummy from Roman Egypt (Getty Publications, 2011). Caroline Cartwright is senior scientist in the Department of Scientific Research at the British Museum. She has authored over 245 scientific publications.