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Monkeys appear throughout the margins of medieval illuminated manuscripts masquerading as priests and nobles, misusing devotional objects, and breaking the fourth wall of pictured space. Artisans, who were referred to in popular culture as simiae naturae (apes of nature), embraced the monkey as an avatar through which to explore the endless possibilities and pitfalls of imitatio (imitation), a central concept in medieval understandings of art. How does this figure reflect ideas about art and image-making? How have additional culturally-based meanings around the monkey influenced its symbolic association with art? THE FOLD is a research project that explores the monkey's association with art in the West. Based primarily on imagery from illuminated manuscripts, the following archive 

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