The hat and feathers on the central monkey, a difference from the other version, are a slightly later (still 17th century) addition to the work. Our thanks to the owner for this information. He further remarks: "Comparing the two paintings, there are two things that immediately strike the eye. First of all, the coloring, "singerieII" is much less colorful than "singerie I " [the present work], secondly, "singerie II " is much less worked out or much less detailed. It is obvious that the present work was the first conceived, for it is impossible to imagine that a second version would show more recognisable details than a first version. To that regard it is important to compare the monkeys sitting on the cupboard. As where the middle monkey is merely a suggestion of an animal in the " singerie II ", one can clearly see it is a monkey giving an ox to the monkey left of him in the present work. The detailing in the clothing of the persons on the two portraits hanging high left is also a lot more apparent . The clothing of the woman is very similar to the "Parisian style" clothing appearing on the "portrait of Jacqueline van Caestre" by Rubens or Van Dijck dating from late 1617 or first halve of 1618.
The painting at the upper right is a version of Rubens's Pan and Ceres from 1617. The table cloth here is identical to that used in the 1618 Sense of Taste in the Prado. The palace glimpsed through the door seems to be Marienberg.
In the opinion of Klaus Ertz, this painting is the original by Jan the Elder with Jan the Younger, and the other version is a variant of it. Bert Schepers feels that the present work is entirely by Jan the Elder.
The owner suggests that the presence of the Pan & Ceres painting suggests that the dating of this is slightly earlier, perhaps 1618.
A David Teniers "Banquet of Monkeys", painted much later (1660), derives from this Brueghel painting. Teniers was married to Anna Brueghel and must have owned or had access to this work. See Bert Scheppers in the Rubenianum Quarterly, 2014.