Cat with kittens on damaged box for animal mummy

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

curationist logo

Cats in Ancient Egypt were associated with fierce goddesses like Sekmeht and Bastet. At one point both were depicted as women with the heads of lionesses. Over time Bastet morphed into a simple feline, conveying her nurturing aspect. On this tomb box, Bastet nurses her kittens, while attentively looking out at the viewer. Indentations on her neck and belly may indicate body fat, further illustrating her fecund qualities.The nursing Bastet was also a symbol for nourishing the Egyptian people. Other depictions of cats in Egyptian art show them sitting underneath their matriarchs, fowling, slaying serpents, or playing.

Save this work.

Start an account to add this work to your personal curated collection.

masonry card

Work details

Help us improve the metadata.

Is something is missing?

We're just getting started!

Sign Up to receive updates.

Curationist connects people to cultural knowledge from all over the world.