Search This Blog

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Secrets of the oldest and most expensive portraits in the world

The works of art are considered 'Western portraiture predecessors'.

Some of the most fascinating discoveries made inside the tombs of ancient Egyptians are portraits which depict the past in the afterlife. Representations of this type have been designed on wood and have a age of about 2000 years. Scientists assume that these paintings have strongly influenced the styles and techniques to achieve religious icons throughout Europe.

The portraits have been discovered since 1899 in the ancient settlement Tebturnis today Umm el-Baraga. The paintings are 15 in number, and with them were found papyrus scrolls.


A team of researchers from Northwestern University, Evaston (Illinois) and University of California, Berkeley, took samples of pigment and used non-destructive imaging techniques, in order to learn how paintings were made. Moreover, scientists have demonstrated that the stages of conception and how portraits were executed pictorial layers.

The analysis results have surprised scientists: pigments used by ancient artists were artificial. Scientists have learned that susbtanţele used had been imported from many parts of Europe. Thus, some of the pigments proveniseră Spain and others were imported from Greece. Moreover, the wood used as support was from Central Europe.

Photo: Ward

The portraits were discovered in a first stage, covered with other pictorial layers. Researchers have found, however, that prior to carry out the works, the artists have sketched on the wooden case with a pigment extremely expensive at the time, Egyptian blue. The research team argues that after the artworks were completed, applies a layer of verniu made of wax originally used to preserve mummies.

Dr. Marc Walton, one of the archaeologists involved in the program of investigation suggests that in order to purchase so expensive pigments like those studied used for portraits, artists were connected to a network commercial complex, which extended throughout the Roman Empire . Through the ways of commerce circulated and cultural influences, which is why artists Greeks began to draw inspiration from the works of the Egyptians, using them execution techniques to create after the first representations of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the saints celebrated in Christianity .


Portraits discovered at Tebturnis are considered some of the best preserved paintings from the period I-III centuries AD At present, they form one of the most valuable art collections worldwide.

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by thevintagenews. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

No comments:

Post a Comment