Portrait of a Bearded Man Artist: Unknown

2nd century A.D.

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

Encaustic on wood


11 × 5 5/16 in. (27.9 × 13.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Associates in Fine Arts

Accession Number





Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Likely found at er-Rubayat, Egypt. Otto Theodor Graf (1840-1903), Vienna [See Note I]; by descent to Graf’s heirs; sold to Bruno Kertzmar, (Wiener Kunst-Salon), Vienna, 1922. Dr. Neudörfer, Vienna, by 1935; Sale, Mobiliar, schweizerische, italienische und französische Möbel…, Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, Zürich, 7-11 May 1935, lot 2369 [See Note II]. Karl Freund Arts Inc., New York, by November 1938; sold to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., February 1939

Notes: [I] Otto Theodor Graf was one of the most important Egyptian antiquities and textile dealers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The owner of a carpet business in Vienna, with a branch in Cairo, he traveled frequently to Egypt. In 1887 he acquired around 330 late Roman mummy portraits from local agents near el-Rabayat, an ancient town in the Fayum region. While no records of their removal exist, the group has been associated with the site’s necropolis. [II] According to the Fischer sale catalogue, the mummy portraits were from a Private Collection, Vienna. A letter in the curatorial object file from Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator and Egyptologist Ludlow Seguine Bull (1886-1954) to Theodore Sizer (1892-1967), then Director of the Yale Art Gallery, April 15, 1935, advises Sizer of the auction and notes they are “from the collection of one Dr. Neudörfer, Vienna.” The identification of Dr. Neudörfer is at present unknown, but research remains ongoing.
  • Essi Ronkko and Hood Museum of Art, "Hood Museum," http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu (accessed June 2011-July 2021),
  • Sotheby's, New York, Antiquities, Including Property of the Albright-Knox Gallery, sale cat. (June 7, 2007),
  • Wilfred Seipel, Bilder aus dem Wüstensand: Mumienportraits aus dem Ägyptischen Museum Kairo, exh. cat. (Milan: Kunsthistorisches Museum, 1998),
  • Marie-France Aubert and Roberta Cortopassi, eds., Portraits de l'Egypte romaine: Paris, Musee du Louvre, 5 octobre 1998, 4 janvier 1999, exh. cat. (Paris: Reunion des Musees Nationaux, 1998),
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 259, ill
  • Gerry D. Scott, III, Ancient Egyptian Art at Yale, 1st (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 176–77, no. 98B, ill
  • Jacques-Edouard Berger, L'Oeil et L'Eternitie: portraits romains d'Egypte (Paudex, Switzerland: Editions de Fontainemore, 1977), 216
  • Klaus Parlasca, Ritratti di Mummie. Reportorio d'Arte dell'Egitto Greco-Romano, Serie B, 3 vols. (Palermo, Italy: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1969),
  • William H. Peck, Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt, exh. cat. (Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1967), 36
  • Klaus Parlasca, Mumienportrats und Verwandte Denkmaler (Weisbaden, Germany: Steiner, 1966), 270
  • Hilde Zaloscer, Porträts aus dem Wüstensand (Vienna: A. Schroll, 1961), 64
  • Georg Ebers, The Hellenic Portraits from the Fayum at Present in the Collection of Herr Graf (New York: D. W. Sheldon, 1893),
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