Tagged: colour

Art Cats: Where’s the kitty?

John Reinhard Weguelin Painting The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat

John Reinhard Weguelin (1849–1927) was an English artist who specialised in figurative paintings with opulent backgrounds, typically landscapes or garden scenes. Drawing on Greek and Roman imagery and mythology, Weguelin’s work can be considered classicist (early works) as well as neo-classicist (later works). His style was flexible, often reflecting a free adaptation of the pagan spirit of classical art instead of adhering to a strictly historical interpretation.

In The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat (1886),a priestess kneels before an altar upon which is placed the mummy of a cat (yup, there it is!). She is burning incense, and has presented offerings of flowers and food and milk to the cat’s spirit. On the wall behind the priestess is an Egyptian fresco, and a statue of the goddess Bastet guards the entrance to the temple. In the Background, stairs lead up to a doorway, opening the view to the sky.

If you are on top of your Egyptian mythology, you will have noticed that this actually leaves us with a second answer to the title question! Bastet (alternatively Bast or Baast) is the second cat in the picture. The feline goddess of ancient Egypt was the protector and defender of the pharaoh as well as the main male deity Ra. When domesticated cats were popularly kept as pets (first millennium BC), Bastet began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat.