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Exhibit Catalog to the Morris County Historical Society's "Out of the Closet" Exhibition

Monkey Ink Painting

Paintings and Drawings
Japanese Prints
Thank You
Fun Stuff

Click picture to enlarge

Artist unknown
Monkey Ink Painting
Circa mid-19th century
Ink on crepe paper
12 1/2 x 21 in.
Found in the Collection.

The Painting


This charming ink painting features a monkey romping in the leaves. His pink face and hands are finely drawn, whereas the fur on the rest of his body is executed in an extremely soft, brushy manner. The artist would have used a very fine brush (usually made of animal hair) to depict the monkey's detailed hands and facial features, and a dry brush to create a realistic texture for the fur.



Animals in Japanese Ink Paintings


In the 18th and 19th centuries, artists like Maruyama Okyo and Katsushika Hokusai used live animals and birds as models in order to capture a more animated, natural look for their painted animals. This mischievous-looking monkey, with its incredibly realistic fur texture and lively facial expression, was most certainly painted from a live model.