khafre

Happy #Caturday from the Brooklyn Museum! This is a monthly celebration of cats based on our exhibition Divine Felines: Cats in Ancient Egypt.

The great sphinx of Giza – a lion with the face of king Khafre, is usually one of the first images that comes to mind when someone mentions Egypt. But, did you know that there were many types of sphinxes in ancient Egypt? The sphinx is a creature with a lion’s body and human head.

This bronze striding sphinx represents the god Tutu. The Egyptians appealed to this mighty divinity for such personal issues as fertility, birth, and health. Believed to control a person’s fate and fortune, he also commanded demonic entities, preventing them from harming individuals or harnessing their power for protection. 

Tutu’s might is perceptible in his image. Not only does it include two potent symbols of strength - a king’s head and a leonine body - but also has falcon wings and a snake-like tail. The cobras on Tutu’s sides represent two of the demons that he controls.

See this striding sphinx and other ancient Egyptian cats on view now in #DivineFelines!

Posted by Yekaterina Barbash