Orang-Utan "Seemann" with his keeper, Max Slevogt
Max Slevogt
Orang-Utan "Seemann" with his keeper
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Max Slevogt

Orang-Utan "Seemann" with his keeper, ca. 1901

57 x 45.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 1091
Acquired in 1943
Not on display


About the Work

This double portrait by the German Impressionist Max Slevogt was executed during his studies in the Frankfurt zoo, where the Orang-utan “Seemann” was his preferred model. The ape takes centre stage, with the painter himself relegated to the margin. Whereas the contours of the animal’s body are applied only sketchily, its physiognomy is executed in greater detail, corresponding strikingly with that of the painter himself. With crude brushstrokes, he renders his self-portrait cursorily; painterly and in terms of colouration, he blends in together with the animal and his surroundings. With this exaggerated union of man and ape, the work holds a special place within Slevogt’s oeuvre.

Work Data

Basic Information

Orang-Utan "Seemann" with his keeper
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1943

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif

Research and Discussion


Object History
Max Slevogt
an Karl Voll (1867-1917), München
Kunst- und Antiquitätenhandlung Wilhelm R. Hof, Mainz/Bernsheim
verkauft an die Stadt Frankfurt, 1943.


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Conservation and Restoration

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