• Monkeys in the Kitchen

    Artist:
    Teniers, David II. 1610-1690
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    36x50 cm

Teniers, David II. 1610-1690

Monkeys in the Kitchen

Flanders, mid-1640s

The State Hermitage can boast one of the world's finest collections of works by the famous Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger. Over 40 paintings from the time when the artist was at his peak demonstrate the main facets of his oeuvre and reveal the distinctive nature of his style. The iconography and composition of this Teniers painting derive from The Monkeys' Kitchen by Frans Francken II (Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany), although it has lost the overt didactic content of the source. Teniers omits a number of sententious details present in Francken's work (such as a painting above the fireplace showing greedy humans in a kitchen), but adds a number of moralizing elements in his own work. The apple that the monkey in the centre is holding in its paws is supposed to be a reminder of mortal sin and its consequences for people. As well as the moralizing tendencies, the Hermitage painting also contains satirical motifs. The differentiation of the monkeys according to dress and position occupied (the leader of the band sits upon a high stool, for example) is a parody of the social hierarchy in human society.

Title:

Monkeys in the Kitchen

Place:

Date:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

36x50 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1814; formerly in the collection of Josephine de Beauharnais in the Castle of Malmaison near Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-568

Category:

Collection:

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