|next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Images of the Invincible Gods
Subtitle: Piety and Panel Paintings in Roman Egypt
Author(s): WHITEHOUSE, Helen
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 72 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2015
Less familar than the mummy-portraits of Roman Egypt are the painted wooden panels depicting divinities — images (eikones) apparently created for personal devotion or votive dedication. Intermittently discussed for a century or so, individually or as subject-types (notable amongst them, the ‘gods in uniform’), these rare examples of ancient framed pictures have grown in number over time. The publication now of a well-documented corpus of over 50 panels, or fragments thereof, lifts the discussion to a new level, opening fresh avenues for investigation. Drawing on both hellenic and pharaonic iconography and mixing representational conventions, these paintings reflect aspects of religion and culture in the first three centuries AD that have both local and general significance. Divisible into several sub-categories within the corpus, they pose questions regarding the transmission of imagery, as well as the identity of their subjects.