BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)

Two Chained Monkeys

Oil on oak panel, 20 x 23 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

This small panel of two chained monkeys shows its subjects confined within an aperture opening upon a view of Antwerp's harbour. These forlorn prisoners from the jungle are painted with scientific exactitude after species imported from Africa. Monkeys are emblematic of the painter's imitative function as well as of human folly.

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