This image is influenced by paintings found on sarcophagi in Egypt. It is reminiscent of the mysterious Egyptian Fayum portrait, found in the Arsinoe tomb of Trajan (117-98 BCE), and is similar to a Byzantine icon. Avner Moriah’s drawing is influenced by Egyptian depictions of women, as well as the grapevine motif, which symbolizes romance.
I am dark, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem –
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the pavilions of Solomon.
Don’t stare at me because I am swarthy,
Because the sun has gazed upon me.
My mother’s sons quarreled with me,
They made me guard the vineyards;
My own vineyard I did not guard.
- Chapter 1:5-6