Monkey Symbol: What Does the Monkey Symbolize?Monkey Symbol: What Does the Monkey Symbolize?

The symbolic representation of monkeys has been prevalent throughout history. Monkeys are often associated with playful behavior, curiosity, and intelligence. In many cultures, monkeys are seen as a figure of cleverness and mischief. They are known for their ability to mimic human actions and their knack for problem-solving.

The association of monkeys with fruit can be traced back to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. According to the story, Eve was tempted by a monkey who picked a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This fruit, often depicted as an apple, symbolizes the desire for knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom.

In ancient civilizations, monkeys have been depicted in various works of art and engravings. These representations often highlight the playful and mischievous nature of monkeys. They are shown picking fruit from trees, stealing from bowls, and even interacting with demons. In some images, monkeys are seen bowing to show their respect or strength.

The female monkey, in particular, is often used in logos and images to represent a sense of sweetness and allure. This is derived from the selected taste and charm associated with the fruit that monkeys often consume. Without a doubt, the monkey symbolizes more than just a fruit-loving creature. Its representation carries deep meaning and significance across different cultures and contexts.

A Female Figure with Bowls of Fruit and a Monkey: Symbolism in Engraving by N de Bruyn after M de Vos

In this engraving by N de Bruyn after M de Vos, we see a female figure holding bowls of fruit and accompanied by a monkey. The scene depicts Eve picking the apple from the tree of knowledge, representing the sense of taste.

The female figure in the engraving symbolizes Eve, the biblical character who is famously associated with the temptation and fall of humanity. By selecting the apple from the tree of knowledge, Eve is depicted as making a conscious choice to pursue knowledge and indulge in her senses.

The inclusion of the monkey in this artwork further emphasizes the idea of indulgence and pleasure. Monkeys are often associated with mischief and playfulness, but they also symbolize a lack of restraint and a preference for immediate gratification. This can be seen in the monkey’s involvement in Eve’s decision to pick the apple.

The bowls of fruit held by the female figure represent the temptation of desire and indulgence. Fruits are often associated with pleasure and abundance, and their presence in the engraving amplifies the symbolic meaning of the scene.

N de Bruyn’s engraving is a powerful representation of the human desire for knowledge and pleasure. By depicting the moment when Eve chooses to pick the apple, the engraving explores themes of temptation, sin, and the pursuit of knowledge.

This engraving by N de Bruyn after M de Vos serves as a visual representation of the concept of the tree of knowledge and the temptation faced by Eve. It is a thought-provoking image that encourages viewers to contemplate the role of knowledge, pleasure, and temptation in their own lives.

Selected images from this work

The monkey is a symbolic figure representing curiosity, mischief, and knowledge. In many cultures, monkeys are associated with a sense of playfulness and curiosity, often depicted as mischievous creatures in folktales and mythology. In the engraving “Monkeys about to pick fruit,” created by Jan de Vos after a drawing by Adriaen van de Venne, monkeys are shown climbing a tree and reaching for fruit.

The image is a logo for the logo of a fruit brand called “Bruyn’s Bowls.” It depicts two monkeys, a male and a female, standing together on a branch of an apple tree. The monkeys are shown with a bow around their waists, representing their mischievous nature, but also their connection to the fruit. The female monkey holds an apple in one hand and offers it to the male, symbolizing the sharing of knowledge and the playful nature of the monkeys.

Without a doubt, this engraving is filled with symbolic meaning. It captures the essence of curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge, as the monkeys are shown on the eve of tasting the fruit. The image also suggests a sense of mischief and playfulness, as the monkeys are eager to pick the ripe fruit from the tree. The presence of demons at the base of the tree further adds to the symbolic significance of the engraving.

In this work, the artist, using the monkeys as a symbolic figure, creates a sense of intrigue and curiosity in the viewer. The engraving invites us to ponder how the monkeys will interact with the fruit and what their actions will reveal about their character and desires. The selected images from this work provide a glimpse into the symbolic world of monkeys in art and invite us to explore the deeper meanings behind these playful creatures.

About this work

In this engraving by Cornelis Vos, we can see a symbolic representation of the story of Eve and the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The figure of Eve is depicted picking an apple from the tree of knowledge, with a monkey sitting next to her. The monkey, often seen as a playful and mischievous creature, takes on a sense of temptation and curiosity in the context of this biblical story.

The image is based on the biblical tale from the book of Genesis, where Eve is tempted by a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. In this engraving, the monkey replaces the serpent as a symbolic representation of temptation and the consequences of seeking knowledge without a proper sense of caution.

The engraving depicts the moment just before Eve takes a bite of the fruit. The monkey, with a mischievous look on its face, holds an apple in its hand. This moment captures the curiosity and allure of the forbidden fruit, as well as the temptation that Eve faces to taste it. The monkey’s presence serves as a reminder of the consequences of giving in to temptation and the potential loss of innocence.

The work is part of a series of engravings by Cornelis Vos, with each image selected to create a narrative about the fall of mankind. The choice to include a monkey in this particular scene adds an additional layer of symbolism, highlighting the dangers of seeking knowledge without guidance.


Artist: Cornelis Vos
Engraving: After a work by Adriaen van de Venne
Date: 17th century

Symbolic Meaning:

The monkey in this work represents the temptations and curiosity that led to the fall of mankind. It serves as a reminder of the consequences of seeking knowledge without caution and the potential loss of innocence.


The monkey is a symbolic figure that has been featured in various cultures and mythologies throughout history. It is often associated with intelligence, curiosity, and mischief. The monkey has long been recognized as a creature that is capable of learning from its surroundings and using that knowledge to its advantage. In many traditions, the monkey is seen as a representation of wisdom and the pursuit of knowledge.

In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the monkey is thought to have been the one who picked the fruit from the tree of knowledge and offered it to Eve. This engraving by Jan van Vos shows a female figure without a monkey, but with a fruit bowl and the tree representing the tree of knowledge. The monkey in this context may symbolize the temptation to gain knowledge and the consequences that can come from seeking knowledge that is forbidden.

In popular culture, the monkey is often depicted as a playful and mischievous creature. It is commonly used in logos and images to create a sense of fun and spontaneity. Monkeys are also associated with a taste for fruit, and the image of a monkey picking a ripe apple from a tree is a common representation. This may symbolize the pursuit of pleasure or indulgence in worldly desires.

Overall, the monkey is a multifaceted symbol that represents various aspects of human nature and behavior. It can be seen as a clever and resourceful creature, but also as a trickster and tempter. Its association with knowledge and curiosity make it a fitting symbol for those who seek to learn and understand the world around them.

How to Create a Monkey Logo

Creating a monkey logo can be a fun and creative process. Monkeys are often used as symbols in logos because they represent a sense of mischief, playfulness, and curiosity. They are also known for their intelligence and ability to problem solve, making them an ideal choice for a logo that wants to convey those traits.

Here are the steps to create a monkey logo:

  1. Sketch your ideas: Begin by sketching out different concepts for your monkey logo. Experiment with different poses, facial expressions, and body shapes. Don’t worry about making it perfect – this is just the brainstorming phase.
  2. Select the figure: Choose the figure of the monkey that best represents your brand. Consider the characteristics you want to highlight, such as intelligence, playfulness, or curiosity.
  3. Add the symbolic elements: To enhance the symbolic representation of your monkey logo, you can incorporate other elements. For example, you could add a tree to represent knowledge or a bowl of fruit to symbolize abundance.
  4. Refine and finalize: Once you have selected a few ideas, refine them by giving them more details and adding color. Consider working with a graphic designer or using design software to create a polished and professional look.
  5. Get feedback: Share your designs with others and ask for their feedback. This can help you identify any areas that need improvement or get new ideas for your monkey logo.
  6. Make necessary tweaks: Based on the feedback you receive, make any necessary tweaks to your design. This could involve adjusting colors, shapes, or proportions.
  7. Consider the logo’s versatility: Think about how the monkey logo will look in different sizes and formats. It should be easily recognizable and readable both as a small favicon and as a large billboard.
  8. Finalize and use: Once you are happy with the final version of your monkey logo, save it in different file formats and start using it across your branding materials.

By following these steps, you can create a unique and memorable monkey logo that effectively represents your brand’s personality and values.


What does the monkey symbolize?

The monkey symbolizes various things in different cultures and contexts. In general, monkeys are often associated with intelligence, mischief, playfulness, and adaptability. They are also sometimes seen as symbols of fertility, good luck, and trickery.

Can you describe the selected images from this work?

The selected images from this work include a female figure with bowls of fruit and a monkey. In one image, Eve is depicted picking the apple from the tree of knowledge, which represents the sense of taste. This engraving was created by N de Bruyn after M de Vos.

What is the significance of a monkey logo?

A monkey logo can have various meanings depending on the context. Monkeys are often associated with traits such as intelligence, playfulness, and creativity, which can be desirable qualities for a brand. A monkey logo can also evoke a sense of fun and mischief, making it memorable and engaging for customers.

How can I create a monkey logo?

Creating a monkey logo involves several steps. First, research and gather inspiration by looking at existing monkey logos and designs. Then, sketch out your ideas and refine them into a concept. Next, choose a color palette and typography that aligns with your brand’s personality. Finally, create the logo using design software or hire a professional designer to bring your concept to life.

What is the significance of the female figure with bowls of fruit and a monkey?

The significance of the female figure with bowls of fruit and a monkey is open to interpretation. In the context of the engraving, it can be seen as a representation of Eve from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. The monkey may symbolize temptation or Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. The bowls of fruit could represent the abundance of nature or the temptation to indulge in worldly pleasures.

What does the monkey symbolize in art?

The monkey is often seen as a symbol of playfulness, curiosity, and mischief in art. It can also represent intelligence, adaptability, and resourcefulness.