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eszter karsay asked

Why a monkey? What does it symbolize?

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

Dear Eszter, Together with its pendant in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (depicting a woman in love) this panel is thought to be an allegory - a symbolic depiction - of love. Although the meaning of the horses and monkey can not be established with absolute certainty, it could very well be that the white horse with the monkey - monkeys being a symbol of evil or impudence - stands for the less reliable male lover, while the other horse - which looks up to the woman on the pendant painting - stands for the loyal lover. All the best, Daphne


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Two Horses in a Landscape

Hans Memling (in c. 1490)

This was probably the right hand panel of a diptych showing an allegory of love. The left hand panel, which is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York now, shows a woman holding a flower in her hand, a symbol that she is in love.


Title Two Horses in a Landscape
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type Painting
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions (general) Width : 16 cm
Height : 43 cm
Makers Painter: Hans Memling
Accession number 2470 (OK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1958
Age maker Between 52 and 61 years old
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Exhibitions Van Eyck tot Bruegel (1994)
External exhibitions Nederlandsche Kunst van de XVde en XVIde eeuw (1945)
Collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – Bruegel’s ‘The Tower of Babel’ and Great 16th Century Masters (2017)
Material Panel > Worked wood > Wood > Vegetable material > Organic material > Material > Material and technique
Oil > Paint > Artist's material > Material > Material and technique
Object Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Geographical origin Germany > Western Europe > Europe
Geographical origin Southern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the maker

Hans Memling

Seligenstadt circa 1433 - Brugge 1494

Hams Memling was most probably a pupil of Rogier van der Weyden. He spent the greater part of his life in Bruges. Since he was, in 1465, one of the greatest tax..