Makeshift studio on a scaffolding for documenting painted remains at Medinet Habu

Jun 1, 2020

Setting up the perfect field studio when working at the monuments takes some careful planning. Sometimes the decorative surface that is investigated is hit by direct sunlight or hidden behind a wall.⠀ ⠀

When creating the color pencil facsimiles (@derwentartofficial) at the Small Amun Temple in Medinet Habu, the artist had to come over many challenges in order to represent the multiple layers of paint traces barely visible on the facade. A tent had to be built on and around a complex scaffolding system, providing shade and comfortable shelter. The faint pigment traces were only visible when hit from up close by strong artificial light and sprayed on using fast dissolving 70% etil-alcohol. ⠀ ⠀

A further difficulty was presented by the concurrent condition of the paint on the walls. Most of the extensive Ptolemaic polychrome decoration applied on a thick layer of plaster over the exterior wall reliefs had fallen off, leaving mere vestiges of the colors and details.⠀ ⠀

Nonetheless, the preliminary examination of the painted layers on scenes on the temple’s exterior revealed three separate, well-distinguished paint episodes: the original Thutmoside decoration, the paint scheme associated with the Ramesside additions on the outer walls, and a thorough Ptolemaic modification of many of the surfaces, particularly on the outside walls. ⠀

This post was originally released as part of digitalEPIGRAPHY's growing Instagram collection. If you'd like to see our latest photos as soon as we post them, please follow us on Instagram.

Back to Gallery

What to see next