Collection Online

Mummy Mask of a Youth, 1st - 4th centuries C.E.

Culture: Unknown Maker, Egyptian

Medium: Plaster, paint

8 1/2 × 6 1/4 × 6 in. (21.6 × 15.9 × 15.2 cm)

Credit Line: Clarence Day Foundation Collection

Object Number: LI.90.59

On View

Although Egypt was absorbed into the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E., traditional funerary practices—including mummification and elaborate burials—continued for decades. Influenced by the realism of Roman portraiture, Egyptian artisans began to produce burial masks that look remarkably life-like. This mask of a young man was made of plaster, which was painted to enhance its realistic appearance. Unique details, such as the conjoined eyebrows and sparse mustache, clearly indicate that this was an individual rather than an idealized face.