Thursday, May 12, 2005

Artists wax poetic about encaustics

The Daily Times: "Encaustic art is one of the oldest art forms, dating to the time of the ancient Egyptians for use in their elaborate burial tombs, whichhave survived for centuries.

An encaustic art surface is very durable because beeswax, the basic ingredient, is impervious to moisture and most environmental changes.

Despite its durability, encaustic art lost favor during the Renaissance due to what was thought to be cumbersome requirements, considering the technology of the time. Modern advances have made using encaustics a lot easier."

I found this resurgence in interest in encaustic techniques very exciting. Some of my favorite ancient portraits are the Greco-Roman portraits of Faiyum, Egypt. These mummy portraits illustrate the durability of the art form, having survived since the second century C.E. I just wish I was closer and able to attend this conference.