Now I'm thinking about the Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits, made using encaustic paint, and how damn good they are


It's weird to me how forgotten this particular genre of ancient art is. Perhaps because it doesn't fit into the art history canon of "everyone painted fucked up, bad, and two-dimensional, until the brilliant white european man discovered perspective, realism, and "high" (or "fine") art"

But it's not true: these were painted way before the renaissance, using paints that were much more difficult in terms of mixing/blending/shading than oils (they were made about 2000 years ago, in the Roman era)...

It's thought that the Romans and Greeks could also paint this well.

The problem is that not a lot of their work has been preserved due to how humid the mediterranean region is (this is also why Roman and Greek statues are white: all the paint has deteriorated).

In contrast, paintings from the Faiyum were preserved due to the extremely hot, dry Egyptian climate.

But, of course, European art historians solved that pesky issue by upholding the myth that Greek and Romans were an example "white" or "western" culture

And don't even get me started on the paintings of the Mughal empire--they clearly show a knowledge of perspective, three dimensionality, human proportions, etc. even if they don't do so using the precise, mathematical methods of Renaissance painters. But again, this doesn't fall in line with art history's long-standing practice of orientalism; so they're treated as an afterthought to the western historical narrative

@Catsandcatsandcats had to look this up, and they are very cool, but this is creepy as hell

@Catsandcatsandcats as garf posted about once, history as a linear progression in knowledge and technology is merely a narrative we decided to apply to push white supremacist interests

@Catsandcatsandcats I was taught this shit in middle school, with a religious twist.

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