David Teniers the Younger: Guardroom with monkeys (1633)

(Private Collection)

Guardroom scenes and monkeys were popular in the 16th and 17th century. Monkeys were associated with the fool and represent the irrational and foolish side of man. The monkeys in this painting are behaving like normal soldiers. They have removed their armour and are eating, drinking and playing a game of tric-trac (at the left). At the right a suspect is brought in. David Teniers painted several scene's with monkeys. This painting is from 1633.