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Is Curious George Jewish? Monkeys and Jewish Art

17 Av 5770 – July 28, 2010
Monkeys and apes are generally symbols of base passion, particularly lust, in Western art. Giovanni Battista Foggini's 17th century bronze sculpture "The Fall of Man" shows not only the serpent dangling from the Tree of Knowledge tempting Adam and Eve, but also a monkey seated behind the tree eating an apple. Foggini may have gotten the idea from Jan Brueghel the Elder, whose 1612 painting "Garden of Eden" features a monkey prominently, or from a c. 1410 "The Garden of Eden" by an unknown artist in Frankfurt. A century earlier, Martin Luther had famously referred to Satan as "God's ape," building upon the then-popular view of monkeys as unintelligent animals that simply mimicked primitive human behavior.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/is-curious-george-jewish-monkeys-and-jewish-art/2010/07/28/

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