Monkeys playing with ropes (Monos jugando con cuerdas)
This first tapestry of the ten making up the series (woven in silk, wool, goldthreads and gilded silver threads) offers a composition in which eight monkeys play with other animals, ropes and different objects, beneath adornments of perspective, and flower and fruit vases.
Monkeys having fun
Eight monkeys play with other animals, ropes and different objects. In the center, one of them plays a bagpipe, while another sprinkles water on a third one using a syringe. In one of the lower angles, another monkey rides astride a dog.
The border revolves around bunches of flowers and fruits, intertwined with symbolic figures over a light background: Jason and Medea, on the top border; Fame and Wisdom, in the lower one. Venus and Cupid, Minerva with shield and spear, June with peacocks, Jupiter with rays, scepter and eagle, Ceres with bunches of ears, and Mars with armor are the mythological gods who are repeated in the same position in the falling borders of all the cloths.
The monogram formed by the enlaced letters SB was attributed to Seger Bombeck (act. 1543-1559), although it is currently thought to belong to Jehan Baudouyns, a Brussels weaver active between 1546 and 1554, at the service of Philip II and the Dukes of Mantua, among others.
In El Pardo Palace
It has been set apart since 1992 for the decor of El Pardo Palace, as the residence for foreign dignities, and for the adornment of official ceremonies. After its exhibition in the Prado Museum in 1998, it is permanently exhibited in the Gallery of the Queen of that palace.
Series: Monkeys and grotesques over red field
1st cloth in the series
Model: Cartoonists Cornelis Floris and Hans Vredeman de Vries, c. 1549-1550.
Manufacture: Jean Baudouyns, Brussels, dated “1554.”
Fabric: Gold, silver, silk and wool
Size: 360 x 530 cm
Location: Royal Palace of El Pardo
Origin: The collection of Philip II
Exhibition: Gallery of the Queen at El Pardo Royal Palace.
National Heritage: Inv. 10006857.
Concha Herrero Carretero