Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portraits: Looking into the Faces of the Past and Present

Haley Mellin : Art Practice

Mentor: Professor Katherine Sherwood, Art Practice

An Art Practice major, Haley will paint a series of portraits using the techniques and materials found in the Fayum mummy portraits of Ancient Egypt. These portraits, created during the first and second centuries CE for burial ritual purposes, are heralded for their technical and emotive mastery. Haley will conduct fieldwork in New York, London and Cambridge, England, researching the technical aspects of the portraits by viewing eighty of the most acclaimed paintings and consulting with some of the premier researchers in this field. Studying under Greek painter Eurphosyne Dioxidis, Haley will learn the hard tool, resin binding and encaustic painting techniques that have preserved the portraits over the last 2000 years. The project will culminate in a spring exhibition of her paintings at the Worth Ryder gallery on the UC Berkeley campus. She will also produce a digital compilation of a selection of Fayum portraits, together with their methods and recipes, for reference by other artists and art historians.