No place (likely France or Germany): early nineteenth century. Engraved hand-colored pictorial broadsheet, measuring 13 x 17 inches. Monogram “CG” printed at lower lefthand corner; “No. 66” at upper right. Center crease, a few short closed tears to margins, light abrasions to righthand corners.
Hand-colored singerie print featuring twenty-one monkeys, most playing musical instruments: woodwinds, strings, percussion and brass. The genre of singerie (from the French singes, monkeys) refers to the playful depiction of monkeys dressed in human clothes and engaged in human activities, such as hunting, gaming, or painting. Singerie reached its height in eighteenth-century Europe, exemplified by Christopher Huet’s decorations for the Château de Chantilly and the Hôtel de Rohan, and the twenty-one piece affenkapelle, or “ape orchestra,” produced by the Meissen porcelain house for the King of Saxony. While this broadsheet also depicts a twenty-one piece orchestra, the freer, more streamlined treatment of the monkey musicians – casually dressed and without powdered wigs -- suggests a later date. A vivid and delightful hand-colored print.