grey 10 transforms / by Philip Tarlow

5:27 PM: i feel like i went down a rabbit hole today with this one. what you see here will be gone tomorrow. 

1:59 PM: and here's the latest state, with 3 details below. it's easy to see how the fayoum portraits are the link to early byzantine icons found in the sinai, as doxiadi suggests in her book. both are in encaustic on wood panels and both reflect the earlier classical greek portraits which we only know from descriptions. had these portraits, painted in about 150-250 AD, not become part of the ancient egyptian mumification and burial rituals, they too would have been lost. they are perhaps the earliest examples we have of the painterly in art history. 

additionally, these fayoum portraits, many of them, have an intensity of gaze and specificity of personality not often attained by later artists. 

as doxiadi points out in her brilliant book, this one in particular contains many passages with  gestural strokes we see centuries later in the dutch masters like hals.

ilikely would not have felt such an affinity were it not for yannis tsarouchis, who studied and was influenced deeply by the fayoum, as was his buddy lila di nobilis, who i was fortunate to meet in paris. they inspired me to make copies of fayoum portraits in the louvre and the british museum.

scroll down this post to view the painting in 3 stage of development; the most recent being the one on the top.