Thanks to this technique, we had lots of Egyptian & Greek war ships of the time painted with colorful red eyes & flaming tails. Recently, (in the last 100 years), excavations in Egypt have pulled up funerary coffins made by Egyptians from the Late Period (712- 332 BC) . Uncovering these coffins with painted images, referred to as Egyptian faience, these ancient paintings on a wood panel looks like they have been painted yesterday. No water has been able to get into them; the wax kept the dirt out; no sunlight has hit them.
The technique is known as encaustic & is currently undergoing a revival in art circles.
Some of these people had their portraits done when they were teenagers, so they look like adolescents on the coffin. They didn’t wait; they didn’t know when they were going to die. They had their picture done when they were in the prime of life & could afford it. Wealthy parents often had these done for their children, so there would sometimes be a very old man whose coffin had the painting of him as a young child.
I love working in encaustic & will be doing a lot more work in this technique down the line.
Just to let you know, since the wax of honeybees melts at 180 degrees, you don’t have to worry about your pictures melting. They will get tacky at a lower temp, but they won’t actually melt till 180 degrees, & if your house is 180 degrees indoors, it’s on fire.
However, if they freeze, they do get bloom, which is a surface alteration that looks a bit like mildew.
Somehow, it never seems to freeze underground in Egypt.