He's no Banksy, but Congo the chimpanzee's paintings still tipped to fetch £200,000

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Martha Fairlie

You might think the art world has gone a bit wild recently.

A frenzied bidding war saw Banksy's satirical Devolved Parliament, a vision of the House of Commons filled by debating chimpanzees, sell for almost £9.9 million on Friday, a record for the street artist.

Now the paintings of the world's most celebrated chimpanzee artist - yes, you read that correctly - are going up for sale.

Congo favoured strong lines and exuberant colour in his paintings. Credit: ITV News
Each painting will go under the hammer for up to £6,000 each. Credit: ITV News

Congo found fame in the 1950s as he appeared alongside zoologist Desmond Morris, himself an enthusiastic painter, on the TV show Zoo Time, broadcast from London Zoo.

The animal painted around 400 works before his death, aged 10, to tuberculosis in 1964.

All are in the abstract expressionist style that became vogue in the middle of the 20th century, with Congo earning critical praise - including an admiring Pablo Picasso - for his strong lines and exuberant colour.

Desmond Morris is selling the collection of 55 paintings. Credit: ITV News

Morris, now 91, is selling the respected collection of 55 paintings at the Mayor Gallery in London.

Priced collectively at around £200,000, they're no Banksy but - with the pieces set to go under the hammer for up to £6,000 each - they're still far from 'cheap as chimps'.