This female portrait is stylistically very close to the Byzantine iconographic tradition, although the lack of characterizing detail means it might be dated anywhere between the second half of the second century AD and the start of the fourth century AD.
It is defined by delicate brushstrokes of strong contrasting colors, as the tempera technique used is unable to give the three dimensional effects achieved with encaustic painting.
Tempera is a painting medium in which pigment is mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as egg yolk. The result is that the woman seems flat; her eyes are dull and inexpressive; and her personality is hardly revealed by her long lower lashes and thick dark eyebrows.
The proportions of her features are poorly handled and her nose is too long for the oval of her face; in addition, the slight twist of the neck is exaggerated by the thick wrinkles of her skin.