Skip to main content
A Young Woman
Greco-Roman
/

The woman in this portrait wears gold, ball-shaped earrings, a golden braided chain and a necklace made up of rectangular emeralds with alternating gold details. Her rich red tunic has a black gold-edged stripe at her right side: this is a clavus, a sign of status in Rome. The artist records her features with accuracy: her large, almond-shaped eyes slant upwards, she has a low forehead, a long thin nose, a plump but small mouth and a small, square chin.

The portrait dates to the first century AD when Egypt was part of the Roman Empire. It was probably commissioned at death and then placed into the case holding her mummified body. This kind of burial rite and portrait image were only possible for the wealthiest citizens. The woman came from a mixed society of Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, which explains her choice of Roman fashion and Egyptian burial custom.

Key facts
Artist Greco-Roman
Full title A Young Woman
Date made probably 2nd to 3rd Century
Medium and support Probably encaustic on wood
Dimensions 42 x 22 cm
Acquisition credit Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG3931
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo