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Lissa, east Prussia Provinz Posen, now Leszno Poland 1846 – Friedenau, Berlin, Germany 1907

  • to Berlin 1888

Monkey [Affe] no 16 [ monkey at end of diagonal branch facing left]

1886 Collection Title: Monkey series: AFFE nos, 3,16,17,22,24,28
Place made: Poland
Materials & Technique: photographs, albumen prints, albumen silver photograph
Primary Insc: signed in the negative in script in black l.r.,'O.Anschütz / Lissa. Posen.1886' [ck]
Dimensions: comp 14.7 h x 19.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Dr Dirk Spennemann 2004
Accession No: NGA 2004.13.2
Subject: Animals

More detail

Photographer, Ottomar Anschutz, is interested in capturing the movements of a monkey. In one of the photographs, the monkey is resting precariously on the end of a long branch and is just about to leap off. You can see how the hind legs are stretched out so that the monkey can use its muscular strength to make the jump.

Another photograph finds the same monkey balancing along a horizontal branch. In the third image the monkey turns its head to look at something while hanging onto a branch with its right arm.

Animals were a favourite subject of Anschultz’s as it was interesting to capture their movements with a camera. As photographic technology improved, images such as these allowed us to understand the behaviour of various animals.

Activity: Research the photographer Eadweard Muybridge and see how his photographs of horses changed the way artist’s depicted a horse in motion.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra