Monkey Paintings are colorful depictions of the Simian Primates who have come to stand for unbridled joyfulness. Monkeys are indeed wonderful creatures to observe. Their antics and playfulness engages the attention of the driest of cynics.
Monkey Paintings in different Cultures
Egyptian Monkey Paintings
Ancient Egyptian art is replete with mysterious depiction of monkeys. This somehow seems strange, as there are certainly no native monkeys or baboons to Egypt. However, these anatomically correct depictions of monkeys make it clear that prehistoric Egyptians of the fourth millennium B.C. were familiar with monkeys, including the imposing and dangerous baboons and the African long-tailed monkey. Since those very ancient times, they have held a permanent place in ancient Egyptian Art as one of the possible animal forms into which the gods and pharaohs might be transformed.
The religious significance of monkeys in Egyptian iconography can be attributed to the fact that monkeys displayed human characteristics. The fact that an image of a monkey representing King Narmer erected by an official, implicitly suggest the transformation of the king into a monkey, no doubt as part of a rejuvenation festival. The king was identified with a Monkey god known as the "Great White One."
Hindu Monkey Paintings or Hanuman Paintings
Hanuman is one of the most popular figures of Hindu mythology. This vanara
(Monkey) is the epitome of wisdom, brahmacharya, bhakti (devotion/faith), valour, righteousness and strength. His indispensable role in reuniting Rama with Sita in the Hindu epic Ramayana, is seen as the ultimate act of devotion in Hindu Mythology.
He has been fepicted involved in acts of valourness in countless paintings. Most of these depictions are inspired from the Ramayana. Unforgettable scenes like those of him burning the city of Lanka with his tail or lifting Mount Dronagiri has colored the imagination of Indian childrens since times immemorial.
M.F. Hussainís controversial depictions of Hanuman have managed to ruffle quite a few feathers. Hindu fanatics have problems with the nudity of the deities and the sexualization of the Sita-Hanuman relationship.