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- Author based on Johann Joachim Kändler and Peter Reinicke’s model
- Date of production ca. 1765
- Place of creation Meissen, Saxony
- Dimensions height: 12.1 cm
- Author's designation at the back of the base, crossed swords painted underglaze with cobalt
- ID no. ZKWawel 5127
- Availability Saxon Hall
- Acquired date donated in 1966
- Object copyright Wawel Royal Castle – State Art Collection
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums Plus project
Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler.more
The statuette depicts a monkey sitting on a folding stool with an open songbook titled Aria on its lap. It is wearing a Rococo costume – a loose yellow coat, a bodice decorated with ribbons and a wide pink skirt. On its head, the monkey has an embossed bonnet tied under the chin. The monkey is tilting its head backward and has its mouth opened as if it were singing. The monkey figure is placed on a small irregular pedestal covered with a raised flowery decoration and rocaille ornamentation.
During the mid-18th century it was popular to set the table on the occasion of the most important ceremonies with porcelain statuettes forming rich iconographic stories. Along the entire length of the table, next to the silverware and the china, sat an arrangement of many statuettes in the form of garden paths, streets or castle arcades, placed on a mirror sheet or coloured sand. Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler. In the Wawel collection, there is a group of seven statuettes entitled The Monkey Orchestra modelled by Kändler and Reinicke, and based on the works of Jean-Baptiste Guélard, dated from around 1753. Originally, the group probably consisted of more than twenty pieces. According to the preserved sources, nineteen statuettes were commissioned in Meissen by Madame de Pompadour.
Elaborated by Dorota Gabryś (Wawel Royal Castle), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved