Classical paintings transformed with monkey faces

An artist has recreated some of the most famous historical works of art into extraordinary paintings – but with MONKEY faces.

The Mona Lisa, King Henry VIII and Girl With Pearl Earring have all been created with apes by Susan Clyne.

She works out of a studio in Norwich and charges between £250 and £3,000 for her works.

Susan said: “I think primates adapt so well, when you look in a chimpanzees eyes you can see their soul.

“After I visited a monkey rescue centre to do some sketching of them in Dorset, I noticed how some looked at me, it was quite un-nerving, knowing they were thinking something and looking.

“I also have a passion for the old masters, I love the whole provenance of the Gothic Victorian era.

“My favourite piece of art has to be Henry VIII, I enjoyed painting the ape in tights and adapting him in old master style which was originally painted by Holbein.”

Susan, who has been painting since the age of three, started the so-called ‘Monkey Masters’ series last year in between painting other work.

She has painted 11 monkey pieces so far, but has painted over 200 pieces of art during her career. They take between two weeks to a month to complete.

Her other artwork includes native Indian painting, wizards, witches, unicorns and cats.

She added: “I think the monkeys bring out my humour and fun to paint.

“If I’m working on a Monkey Master then it’s a case of adapting the chosen primate into the masterpiece – this is the challenge.

“I don’t sketch out the design I generally do this in my head, and then I’m straight on the canvas.

“I’ll have a seed of an idea generally the subject matter, and then it evolves around the canvas.”

Susan’s artwork is known worldwide and is on display in an art gallery in Dereham, Norfolk, and online.

She has also self-published two books named Dreams of Art and a fairy relaxing colouring book.

Susan adds: “To me when I’m painting I forget everything, it takes me to a happy place, I get so involved that I forget where I am, it totally consumes me – I love it.

“My dream is to be in a large gallery.”


Since you’re here …

Real, independent, investigative journalism is in alarming decline. It costs a lot to produce. Many publications facing an uncertain future can no longer afford to fund it. This means journalists are losing the ability to hold the rich and powerful to account.

We do not charge or put articles behind a paywall. If you can, please show your appreciation for our free content by donating whatever you think is fair to help keep TLE growing.

Every penny we collect from donations supports vital investigative and independent journalism. You can also help us grow by inviting your friends to follow us on social media.

Donate Now Button

Leave a Reply