Image Resources | Currently on View in Leah and Charles Redish Gallery (K312)

mummy mask

Egyptian


When Alexander the Great took control of Egypt from the Persians in 323 B.C. and left it to the Ptolemies to rule, he made very few changes stylistically to Egyptian art. The iconography of this mummy’s mask is typically pharaonic: the wings and sun disc represent the scarab beetle, which Egyptians associated with the rising and setting sun and, hence, rebirth. The gold-colored face identifies the deceased with Osiris, the god of the underworld, who himself died and was reborn in the afterlife.



Egyptian and Near Eastern Art

When Alexander the Great took control of Egypt from the Persians in 323 B.C. and left it to the Ptolemies to rule, he made very few changes stylistically to Egyptian art. The iconography of this mummy’s mask is typically pharaonic: the wings and sun disc represent the scarab beetle, which Egyptians associated with the rising and setting sun and, hence, rebirth. The gold-colored face identifies the deceased with Osiris, the god of the underworld, who himself died and was reborn in the afterlife.

Object Information

nationality
Egyptian
creation date
332-30 B.C.
materials
linen, plaster, papyrus, pigment, gold
dimensions
14 x 10-1/2 in.
accession number
28.243
credit line
Emma Harter Sweetser Fund
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Ancient Art of the Mediterranean
colors