A Collection of Egyptian Masks

The Ancient Egyptians from the Middle Kingdom (1938 - 1630 BCE) placed stylized masks with generalized features on the faces of the dead. Masks were commonly made from stucco, plaster or cloth which was then painted on top. Important people such as Pharaohs would have their masks made of silver or gold. The masks of lesser personages were made of wood or clay. 

 

Ancient Egyptian masks served as a guide to the spirit of the deceased, back to its final resting place in the body. The spirit would be able to recognise its body and return to it safely. Masks also protect the deceased as they were believed to frighten away any spiteful spirits. Death masks were made both for ancient Egyptian women and men. In burial tombs, these masks also represented the deceased. Explore this collection of wonderful Egyptian Masks in the Bridgeman Collection!

 

Anubis head with articulee jaw used as an oracle mask / Bridgeman Images

The funerary mask of Tutankhamun (c.1370-1352 BC) c.1336-1327 BC, New Kingdom (gold inlaid with semi-precious stones) / Bridgeman Images

Funerary mask of Hatnefer, c.1492-73 B.C. (cartonnage, gold, travertine, obsidian and ebony) / Bridgeman Images

Mummy Mask, 60–70 AD (painted cartonnage, plaster and plant fibres) / Bridgeman Images

Plaster Portrait Mask of a Youth, c.140–190 AD (plaster, linen, paint, lapis lazuli, glass) / Bridgeman Images

Mummy of Nesmin (detail of mummy mask with plant wreath), 200-30 BC / Bridgeman Images

The gold funerary mask, from the tomb of Tutankhamun (c.1370-52 BC) New Kingdom (gold in laid with semi-precious stones & glass paste) / Bridgeman Images

Gold funerary mask from the burial of Psusennes I / Werner Forman Archive / Bridgeman Images

Portrait for an Egyptian sarcophagus. 17th-12th century av JC. Polychrome wooden carving. Monistrol of Montserrat, Montserrat Museum / © Iberfoto / Bridgeman Images

Male mask, possibly a sculptor's study, from Tell El-Amarna, c.1353-1295 BC (plaster) / Bridgeman Images

Wooden coffin mask / Werner Forman Archive / Bridgeman Images

Inner coffin of User-Het (detail), 1991 BC-1783 BC (wood) / © Fitzwilliam Museum / Bridgeman Images

Discover other images of Ancient Egypt and its art in the Bridgeman Collection or read more about Howard Carter, the archaeologist who found the entrance to Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb with his men.

Sources: 

https://www.britannica.com/art/mask-face-covering/Funerary-and-commemorative-uses

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