DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Madonna with the Monkey

c. 1498
Engraving, 191 x 124 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Italian influence is manifest. This species of monkey was a popular pet in the fifteenth century. It appears also, obviously based on the same lost preparatory drawing, in Dürer's painting Christ among the Doctors. The monkey, at the same time, was a symbol of lewdness, greed, and gluttony, commonly associated with the Christian concept of the Synagogue and more especially with Eve. The "Island Abode" in the background is based on a drawing.

The monogram is the largest on any of Dürer's engravings.