Gabriel von Max



(Monkey with Pitcher)

oil on panel, c. 1900-15


Gabriel von Max


(Monkey with Soap and Pitcher)



oil on wood panel

34,1 x 25,2 cm (13 4/16 x 9 15/16 in.)


signed upper left: G v Max

inscribed upper right: Susanne

period frame (late 19th-early 20th century), with both oil gilding and water gilding

painting cleaned and conserved in 2011 by Andrea Rothe (formerly, Senior Painting Conservator, Getty Museum) and Jeanne McKee-Rothe (formerly, Conservator, Norton Simon Museum); frame conserved in 2011 by Natasa Morovic (Conservator of Frames and Gilded Surfaces, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

Exhibition History:

2011     "Gabriel von Max: Be-tailed Cousins and Phantasms of the Soul," Frye Art Museum, Seattle, July 9-Oct. 30, 2011

Publication History:

Aleš Filip and Roman Musil, eds., Gabriel von Max (1840-1915) (Prague: Arbor vitae, 2011), ill. 74, pg. 57.

Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, ed., Gabriel von Max (Seattle: Frye Art Museum, 2011), ill. 60, pg. 78.

Karin Althaus, Gabriel von Max, Von ekstatischen Frauen und Affen im Salon, Gemälde zwischen Wahn und Wissenschaft [Gabriel von Max, From Ecstatic Women and Monkeys in the Salon, Painting between Madness and Science] (München: Schirmer/Mosel, 2018), ill. 35, p. 93.

2038, The New Serenity, a video featuring Susanne that was screened as part of the “Disappearing Berlin” series at the Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin (Christopher Roth, filmmaker), February 2020. See The New Serenity video on YouTube.  Team 2038 is an interdisciplinary creative group representing Germany in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2020.  See Elena Ferrari, "2038, The New Serenity: Germany at The Venice Architecture Biennale 2020," Domus magazine, February 19, 2020.


"Susanne," the title that Gabriel von Max gave to this painting of a monkey holding a bar of soap and sitting next to a pitcher, is a humorous allusion to the biblical tale of Susanna and the Elders, a common subject in the history of western art since the Renaissance.  As told in the Book of Daniel, Susanna is secretly observed by two lustful elders as she bathes in her garden.  A famous version by Rembrandt has been in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, since 1883.


The Daulton Collection