From someone who normally presents you with 17th-, 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings (nearly all oil), this may seem like an odd choice.
But, dear reader, this is a second-century encaustic on a sycamore panel.
I had quite a bit of trouble finding things with exact dates from the second century, but I figured—what better for a hundredth art post than art from the hundredth year of our calendar (plus…as many as another hundred years)?
This is an Egyptian mummy portrait of a young woman. Of course, given the context “portrait of a young woman” may mean “portrait of an old (and now dead) woman as she appeared in her youth.”
In either case, here she practically radiates loveliness—as the Liebieghaus Sculpture Museum puts it (translated from the German as best your blogger can), “patches of light and dark (chiaroscuro) grant her face vividness and depth.”
The encaustic itself helps with the effect. Made of translucent wax, the layers of paint permit a little bit of light to pass through. Her irises and the bridge of her nose demonstrate the resulting glow.