A swarthy beauty


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



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