"The Magic Flute" - Bro. Alberti and the Frontispiece of the Libretto on the Occasion of the First Performance in the Year 1791 (Page 35).

The two vase men

Two chained sphinx-like figures are sqatting at the foot of the vase. Perhaps they are two monkeys? In ancient Egypt monkeys personified the moongod Thot. On the other side they also were considered as worshippers of the sun. With Heraklit, the monkey is the symbol of human imperfection. In the Christian Middle Ages, a chained monkey symbolized man being caught in the entanglements of sin.

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