It is very difficult to speak about Encaustic Art without mentioning the Greeks and Egyptians. The famous Fayum Funeral Portraits readily come to mind. A significant Greek population settled in Egypt following the conquest by Alexander. They eventually adopted the customs of the Egyptians. This included mummifying the dead. One of their adopted costumes involved creating portraits of the deceased either before or after their death. These portraits were then placed over the face of the deceased . These portraits remain amazingly well preserved even to this day. No doubt this may be directly attributed to the fact that they are encaustic art. Encaustic paintings are made or created with the use of beeswax, pigments and dammar.
The word “encaustic” comes from the Greek word which means to “burn in.” Although there is such a thing as cold encaustic painting, most of the time when people refer to encaustics it is reasonable to assume that they refer to paintings created using molten beeswax.