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Monkey in a Studio

Antoine Vollon, French, 1833 - 1900

Made in Paris, France, Europe


Oil on panel

18 1/8 × 14 5/8 inches (46 × 37.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 255, European Art 1850-1900, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 1108

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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In this study of an artist's studio, Vollon creates an allegory of the liberal arts. The score and trumpet represent music, the books philosophy, the canvas on the easel painting, and the various works scattered throughout the studio sculpture. At the rear are casts from Michelangelo's Medici tombs in Florence, and of Minerva, the Roman goddess of the arts. In depicting a monkey as an artist, Vollon evokes a seventeenth-century Dutch tradition of satirizing the artist as imitator of nature, or "art as the ape of nature."

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.