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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 19th century: Meditation

Herman Hartwich
oil on canvas
11 1/8 x 8 3/4 in. (28.4 x 22.2 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Emily Dorothy Ammann

According to an inscription, this painting shows a monkey named Chico that lived in Herman Hartwich's studio. The artist had just punished him for behaving badly, which probably explains the creature's downcast expression. The rough outlines and unfinished edges suggest that Hartwich painted this piece quickly, perhaps because the monkey did not stay still for very long.

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