Monkey Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Monkeys appear in several artworks by Albrecht Durer, across a variety of art mediums

This watercolour and Gouache on paper is perhaps the most charming and also the only one that features this animal on its own. In all others, such as his Madonna with the Monkey engraving on paper from 1498, it is just a single part of a much more complex composition.

Albrecht Durer clearly had an eye for a cute animal - see his related portraits of Squirrels, where their bushy tails are beautifully brought to life. He would also take on artistically less fashionable options and bring them to life too. He could find a beauty in all creatures and was truly passionate about nature in general.

The Monasterio de El Escorial in Spain retains this original painting and it helps to continue to expose Durer's animal paintings to a wider audience. There tends to be most interest, with regards Albrecht Durer, in his Melancholia work, as well as his famous Rhinoceros.

The charming feature in this watercolour is the way in which the artist produced a lifelike depiction where you feel able to reach out and touch the Monkey. Each and every animal that he included would have presented its own challenges - be that in setting up a suitable working environment in which to put together the composition itself or in the accuracy that he wanted to achieve.