This shroud covered the mummified body of the woman depicted in the portrait. She is wearing a white Roman dress and is apparently clutching a cluster of fruit in her left hand. The hairstyle, jewelry, and clothing worn by the subjects of such portraits are useful tools in dating their shrouds.
The woman is dressed in a white Roman tunic (dalmatica), decorated with two vertical red bands running over the shoulder (clavi) and a loose garment (palla), with an ornamented border indicated by horizontal or diagonal white strokes. The palla, drawn over the right shoulder, seems to be wrapped around the waist, with folds draped over the front of her body. Due to the poor state of preservation, details are most difficult to identify here. Ending below in an oblique line, the palla covers a second or under-tunic in reddish brown with a red-and-white border. In her left hand the deceased holds a wreath of red flowers, in her right an unidentified object. Noteworthy are the delicately painted hands. The ornate jewelry includes a broad necklace with three crescent-shaped pendants, round gold earrings with a red semi-precious stone inset and a crossbar suspended with three pendants, bracelets on both wrists, and footlets around the ankles. The feet are shown with thong sandals. The face is framed by small black curls across the forehead, and a spiral lock at either side of the neck. The large brown eyes are shaded by heavy eyebrows and accentuated by lines of kohl and long eyelashes. The lips are well outlined, the nose and chin highlighted by a white line, with darker shading below. The hairstyle, which shows the fashion set by the imperial family in Rome, dates the shroud in the first century CE, the time of the emperors Claudius and Nero.
The painted shroud belongs to the group of well-known mummy portraits painted on wood or canvas of Roman Egypt. It portrays a woman in full figure, facing the viewer. She lies in a narrow lateral frame, consisting of a decorative pattern with a narrow dark brown outer border, and a wider red one on the inside. The ornament at each side of her head is a laurel branch, while the design in the lower part is geometric. The Roman-style portrait was painted on the canvas after the subject’s death, executed in wax tempera on the unprepared linen, which was then stitched on the mummy. The deceased is shown in the prime of life, with a look of calm and serene repose. The gradation of color and the use of light and shade, with a certain degree of individual characterization, recall the tradition of classical portrait painting.