Because of the wax medium, the colors are semi-translucent and look fresh and lively. This technique is rare today, but it was practiced in late Roman times; for example, we have burial portraits from Faiyum, Egypt, 2nd century, A.D. #encaustic #painting
Portrait of a young man, from the Fayum (Northern Africa, near the Nile). AD 160-170. Encaustic painting on wood. These portraits were designed to be placed over the face of a mummy, and then wrapped in the linen of the mummy to leave the painted face showing. The time period the person lived can be dated by the detail in his hair--all of these portraits are quite detailed and probably accurate to the individuals they are made for.