Art History Assignment Ancient Egypt
Mother cat and four kittens are made of bronze and the group is on semi-circular bronze base, set into a wooden base. Black color was used to paint the wooden base, but some parts missing large amount of color and has several scratches. The mother cat wears a necklace engraved around her neck. In the front of the necklace, uncleanly shaped piece of jewel is incised. She leans down on her left side, and her head marginally tilted back, as one of the kittens teasingly climbs toward her neck. The other three kittens are being fed by the mother cat.
Her legs are outstretched, and tail is on her right hind leg. On the front of the bronze base, right under her left paw, there are hieroglyphs which mean “Basset, given life”. Noticeable scratches are on the face of the mother cat, just above her right eye, and on the front surface of the bronze base. The whole figure is very well saved. If we glance at the history of ancient Egyptians, we observe some facts about the tombs in cities like Gaza, Abodes and Been Has that contained a large number of mummified feline burials.
Some archeologist say that the deceased cats were preserved with cedar oil. This spice had features of keeping the bodies with a nice smell and maintaining them for a long time. They were also buried along with their food and some jewelry. Subsequently, el of these facts indicate that, Egyptians were deferential towards cats and associated many of them with gods and goddesses. Furthermore, there is evidence, regarding the ownership of cats that show that they were thought to be deem-gods at their own right.
An ordinary person did not have rights to own a cat; only pharaoh could own a cat because of the highest status. Moreover, injuring a cat was accepted as treason, as they were under protection of pharaoh. Accordingly, the female cat’s fecundity was connected with numerous divinities. The hieroglyphs incised on the base of the statuette, meaning Basset, grant life”, relate the mother cat with the goddess Basset. The kittens here are shown as a kind, generous trait of feline divinity.
Notably, the mother cat’s pointed ears accentuate the felines observant alertness and capability of protecting its young. Therefore, the statuette of “Cat with Kittens” illustrates that, ancient Egyptians treated cats as more than just animal. For being smart, adroit predators, interpreters of dreams and friendly companions, cats received that much respect form people. Thus, so many works of art, including the “Cat with Kittens”, were created to emphasize their importance in ancient Egyptian culture.