Gabriel von Max

Gabriel von Max
Gabriel Cornelius von Max was a Czech/Austrian painter who was active in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.

Among his fascinations were parapsychology, mysticism and Asian philosophy, as well as anthropology and Darwinism. Likely from his interest in the latter, he kept a family of monkeys on his property, studied them and painted them, frequently in anthropomorphized activities like reading books.

The most famous of these works was his Monkeys as Judges of Art (images above, top, with detail).

Max was one of the early artists to work from photographs, undoubtedly a great help in capturing the appearance of his monkeys, who were unlikely to sit still for their portraits. Among his other subjects were religious, mystical or even medical themes.

There is a dedicated Gabriel von Max website, maintained by Jack Doulton, and two titles on Amazon: Gabriel von Max and Gabriel von Max: Malerstar, Darwinist, Spiritist (German Edition)

[Via Sterling Hundley]

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