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Wepwawet - Upuat - Apuat

63 15 6K (1 Today)
By sphinxmuse   |   
Published: April 28, 2006
© 2006 - 2020 sphinxmuse
This is the sixth in my series dedicated to modern interpretation of Netjeru, ancient Egyptian Deities.

(More information to come!)

Wesir/Usar/Osiris
Bast/Bastet
Re/Ra
Mertseger/Meretseger
Hathor/Het-Heru/ Hethert

Media: watercolor, sumi-e ink, acrylic, Prismacolor colored pencils
Size: approximately 8.25" x 10.5"
Image size
450x578px 85 KB
Comments15
anonymous's avatar
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Clerical-Error's avatar
Clerical-ErrorStudent Digital Artist
Nice interpretation of Wepwawet! Portraying him as a guide dog is very creative and certainly makes sense. I love how he looks both stylized and realistic here. The coloring is lovely as well, especially the cool blue shadows.
HodariNundu's avatar
HodariNundu General Artist
Nice :)

Do you by any chance know anything about those rumours of Upuat being a wolf, rather than a jackal?
sphinxmuse's avatar
sphinxmuse Traditional Artist
Most of the mythology references I have do state that Upuat was a wolf rather than a jackal, and some even stated that in Egyptian art this is represented by a more greyish or brownish coloring rather than the black associated with Anpu/Anubis. Personally though, the only way I've found to distinguish Anubis from Upuat in visual representations are the hieroglyphic captions. I have not seen the grey/brown coloring referenced.

I'm not even sure from a biological standpoint if there were wolves in ancient Egypt, but perhaps they came in contact with them via foreign relations?
HodariNundu's avatar
HodariNundu General Artist
There were wolves in Egypt; they are even believed to live there today, although in very, very small numbers. The subspecies is known as Canis lupus lupaster. Since wolves are so adaptable, I would think they were much more common in ancient times. But... on the other hand, why would the color be the diference between a jackal and a wolf god? After all, jackals are not black...
sphinxmuse's avatar
sphinxmuse Traditional Artist
I was not aware that there were, and perhaps still are, wolves in Egypt. That's very interesting.

I believe Anubis in his jackal forms is represented as black due to the significance of the color black in Egyptian thought and its association with both death and life, not necessarily due to the accurate coloring of a jackal. So I suppose the Egyptians' representation of a wolf need not be colored like its physical counterpart either. However, I would think there should be some distinction in their art between a wolf and a jackal unless the Egyptians themselves didn't draw a clear distinction between the two species.
HodariNundu's avatar
HodariNundu General Artist
Good point about the color... on the other hand, Egyptians knew animals very well. I don´t think they would confuse wolf and jackal, so, as you said, they would probably had drawn them differently.
Whatever the case, I would find it surprising if Egyptians had left wolves out of their mythological/artistic records...
bastblack's avatar
Wepwawet as a guide dog? Interesting...


bB
Steve-K's avatar
I like this, very nice :)
mudshark1013's avatar
I'm going to guess that Apuat leads people - perhaps he leads spirits into the next world, spirits that would otherwise be blind? I guess this based on 1. his guide dog harness and 2. the shadows of Anubis and... is that Bast?
sphinxmuse's avatar
sphinxmuse Traditional Artist
Wepwawet does translate to "Opener of the Ways," and that references His role in various capacities. He was a protective God of the pharaoh, and He was also associated with war and combat (in this sense He "openes the ways" by leading people into battle), but in this case, I am showing Him in His funerary context opening the way to the afterlife.

The shadow is not of Anubis, but of Wepwawet Himself, who also appears as a jackel- or dog-headed human in Egyptian mythology. The Greeks later associated Wepwawet with the wolf, and supposedly the Egyptians sometimes represented Him with brown or grey fur instead of black fur like Anubus, but personally all ancient Egyptian depictions I have seen of Him are virtually indistinguishable from Anubis except for the hieroglyphic captions which identify Him.

I have chosen to show Him as a guide dog because that seemed like a suitable modern role Wepwawet as a canine Deity might have. Guide dogs "open the ways" for those who might otherwise have much more limited mobility. In this image, I'm linking that idea with His ancient Egyptian funerary role: not only has He guided this person throughout life, He also guides him into the afterlife, and their shadows reflect the more spiritual role Wepwawet is playing for that person.
mudshark1013's avatar
that's so awesome. sorry that i can't think of anything more enlightened to say; it's 12:45 and i'm beat.

but this image works well with that description you gave. :)
sphinxmuse's avatar
sphinxmuse Traditional Artist
sorry that i can't think of anything more enlightened to say; it's 12:45 and i'm beat.

That's perfectly alright! I understand completely!

I was wondering though where you saw Bast in this image...:confused:
mudshark1013's avatar
Oh, I saw the cat-headed human silhouette and thought "Bast? Hmm... okay. :)"
professtional2b's avatar
professtional2bHobbyist General Artist
The shading is mindblowing :wow:
perfect-rose's avatar
perfect-rose Traditional Artist
I love the egyptian doggie~~~!!
Great work X'33
anonymous's avatar
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