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Message from Mary Ann Parker

As far back as Medieval illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages, monkeys have been documented in European Art. Initially used as a dark motif to denote the temptation of Christ,  the Monkey was later used as a general symbol for vices. 

By the 17th century, the Monkey was a pervasive figure in European art genres including painting and sculpture and monkeys often appeared  to be ‘aping’ human behavior in satirical (grotesque humor) paintings (Singerie) .

Read more from the Victoria and Albert Museum.