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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Did you know: In art, monkeys symbolize prostitutes!

From tywkiwdbi

In George Seurat’s 'Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte - 1884' (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884), the woman in the foreground has a monkey at her feet and the monkey symbolically represents that the woman may be a prostitute:
Furthermore, the inclusion of symbols, most obviously a monkey on a leash and a woman fishing, is indicative of the painting’s satirical nature. In nineteenth century slang, ‘singesse’ (female monkey in French) meant prostitute. The wordplay of ‘pêche’ (fishing) and ‘péché’ (sin) was a pun often made in French cartoons with reference to prostitution. Such symbols speak to the ability of “the proletarian woman [to] become superficially bourgeois through prostitution.” Through this subtle imagery, Seurat adds another dimension to the comparison of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, noting the superficiality and immorality within high class society.
For more examples go here:

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