The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, and so did the owners of this custom pet portrait. Lauded for its ability to hunt vermin and kill dangerous snakes, the domesticated feline became a symbol of grace and poise in Ancient Egypt.
Our goal with this custom piece was to reflect the grace and poise of the feline. Using the tomb of Tutankhamun for visual inspiration, we wanted to create a painting that felt indebted to the famous Great Sphinx of Giza. We purposefully kept the color palette limited to hues of blue and yellow, both to maintain a focus on our feline subject as well as to pay respect to the restraint and formalism of classical Egyptian art. It’s important to remember that the works of the ancients were never intended to be seen by our eyes; they were designed for the benefit of the divine or the deceased.
Our hope is that this portrait will be discovered, hundreds if not thousands of years from now, and that future archeologists will learn that the 21st century was actually not too different from the times of Ancient Egypt. After all, most of us are still writing on walls and worshipping cats.
Van Gogh is an aptly named cat currently living with our friends at Feline Rescue. His orange color and partly missing ear really helps him sell the name.
We’re huge Game of Thrones fans here at Splendid Beast, and to celebrate the 5th Season returning, we decided to do a some custom paintings of different pets as some of our favorite (and least favorite) characters. Take a look:
1. Ned Stark
5. Jon Snow
6. The Hound
10. George RR Martin (Author)
I’ve always been fascinated by the Bengal Cat, in large part because:
A: They look awesome.
B. They’re hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely than other cats to produce an allergic reaction.
The allergic reaction most people associate with cats doesn’t come from their hair, as is often assumed, but rather from their dander. Dander is a combination of dried skin and saliva, which when floating around in a living room, can produce the sneezing and watery-eyes we associate with cat allergies.
So why do Bengal cats produce less dander than other breeds? Theories vary, although no concrete scientific studies have ever been conducted (Perhaps this will be Splendid Beast’s next venture). Some believe it is because of the Bengal cat’s short coat, which requires less maintenance than longer-haired felines. Others believe it is because the Bengal sheds less than other cats, which keeps dander from spreading throughout the house. Maybe it has something to do with their wild ancestry – Bengal cats are the result of cross-breeding domestic felines with the Asian Leopard cat, which gives them their trademark spots.
Leonard Nimoy passed away this week at the ripe old age of 83. He was an actor, a musician, a director, and a photographer. But one thing you might not know about Mr. Nimoy is that he was also an avid pet lover.
In fact, Mr. Nimoy’s adoration for pets was so strong that in 1970, he opened his own pet store in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles. Nimoy explained his rationale to Michele Jacques in an article called His New World:
He (Nimoy) wanted to stock a pet store with all the kinds of animals available that he often wished he see in other shops he frequented. So now Leonard Nimoy’s Pet Pad stocks chipmunks, monkies, crocodiles, boa constrictors, a South American Otter and, of course, cats and dogs, just to mention a few. But the cats and dogs are not just the ordinary variety we find anywhere. They are all sorts of exotic and rare types. Leonard also has a tortoise which runs free in his backyard, His children love it, and take excellent care of it. Probably better care than they would of any “ordinary” animal.
Wherever you are, Mr. Nimoy: thanks for the inspiration.