The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat: John Reinhard Weguelin

John Reinhard Weguelin: The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat

John Reinhard Weguelin, a British Neoclassical painter, was known for his mythological and historical subjects mainly based on the ancient world which can be seen in his 1886 work The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat. Here the scene is in ancient Egypt, where a woman makes a ritualistic preparation for the journey of the soul of a cat into the afterlife.

The cat itself is mummified on an altar before which the woman burns incense. The setting is rich in decorative details; as on the rear wall which is populated with mythological scenes. The orderly perspective of the picture is continued in the stairway ascending to the right which announces the cat’s journey. The cat could be seen as the Egyptian goddess Bastet.

John Reinhard Weguelin’s The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat is in the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand.

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