ATTRIBUTED TO ALOYS ZÖTL (1803-1887)
Drawing of a White Gibbon
Graphite and gouache on paper, 358 x 500 mm
Private collection, Belgium
Aloys Zötl is notable for his paintings and drawings of fantastical animals
and other natural history subjects. Depicted here is quite possibly a White Gibbon, but in a fantastic way.
Decades after his death in 1887, Zötl’s work was re-discovered by surrealist André Breton, who recognized a surrealist aesthetic in it. Breton wrote: "Lacking any biographical details about the artist, one can only indulge one’s fantasies in imagining the reason which might have induced this workman from Upper Austria, a dyer by profession, to undertake so zealously between 1832 and 1887 the elaboration of the most sumptuous bestiary ever seen."