Once interred with mummified remains, nearly a thousand funerary portraits from Roman Egypt survive today in museums and galleries 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 how they were made.

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 poster presentations 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.

Citation Information


Svoboda, Marie, and Caroline R. Cartwright, eds. Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt: Emerging Research from the APPEAR Project. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2020. http://www.getty.edu/publications/mummyportraits/.


Svoboda, Marie, and Caroline R. Cartwright, editors. Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt: Emerging Research from the APPEAR Project. J. Paul Getty Museum, 2020. http://www.getty.edu/publications/mummyportraits/. Accessed Aug. 26, 2019.

Permanent URL


Revision History

Any revisions or corrections made to this publication after the first edition date will be listed here and in the project repository at github.com/thegetty/mummyportraits/, where a more detailed version history is available. The revisions branch of the project repository, when present, will also show any changes currently under consideration but not yet published here.

August 25, 2020

  • First edition

Other Formats

© 2020 J. Paul Getty Trust


The text of this work and figs. 4.2–3, 4.10, 4.13, 8.3–4, 11.2–5, and 17.4a are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All other images are reproduced with the permission of the rights holders acknowledged in captions and are expressly excluded from the CC BY license covering the rest of this publication. These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted, or manipulated without consent from the owners, who reserve all rights.

Published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500
Los Angeles, California 90049-1682

Elizabeth S. G. Nicholson, Project Editor
Amanda Sparrow, Manuscript Editor
Greg Albers, Digital Manager
Victoria Barry and Laura diZerega, Assistant Digital Editors
Victoria Gallina, Production
Jeffrey Cohen, Cover Design
Nina Damavandi, Image and Rights Acquisition

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  • Names: APPEAR (Project), author. | Svoboda, Marie, editor. | Cartwright, Caroline, editor. | J. Paul Getty Museum, host institution, issuing body.
  • Title: Mummy portraits of Roman Egypt : emerging research from the APPEAR project / edited by Marie Svoboda and Caroline R. Cartwright.
  • Description: First edition. | Los Angeles : J. Paul Getty Museum, 2020. | Proceedings of a conference held at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, Malibu, on May 17 and 18, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references. | Summary: “This publication gathers papers and posters from a 2018 conference organized as part of the APPEAR (Ancient Panel Paintings: Examination, Analysis, and Research) initiative, an international collaboration that promotes the study of funerary portraits from Roman Egypt”– Provided by publisher.
  • Identifiers: LCCN 2019057806 (print) | LCCN 2019057807 (ebook) | ISBN 9781606066546 (paperback) | ISBN 9781606066522 (epub) | ISBN 9781606066539 (ebook)
  • Subjects: LCSH: Mummy portraits–Expertising–Congresses. | Mummy portraits–Egypt–Congresses. | Portraits, Roman–Egypt–Congresses. | Portraits, Egyptian–Congresses. | Egypt–Antiquities, Roman–Congresses.
  • Classification: LCC ND1327.E3 A67 2020 (print) | LCC ND1327.E3 (ebook) | DDC 759.02/16–dc23
  • LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019057806
  • LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019057807

Front cover: Mummy Portrait of a Woman, Romano-Egyptian, AD 100. Encaustic on linden wood, gilt, linen, 48 × 36 × 12.8 cm (18 7/8 × 14 3/16 × 5 1/16 in.). Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, 81.AP.42