In 1913, the Anthropoid Station for psychological and physiological research in chimpanzees and other apes was founded by the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences (Berlin) near La Orotava, Tenerife. Eugene Teuber, its first director, began his work at the Station with several studies of anthropoid apes’ natural behavior, particularly chimpanzee body language. In late 1913, the psychologist Wolfgang Köhler, the second and final director of the Station, arrived in Tenerife. During his stay in the Canary Islands, Köhler conducted a series of studies on intelligent behavior in chimpanzees that would become classics in the field of comparative psychology. Those experiments were at the core of his book Intelligenzprüfungen an Menschenaffen (The Mentality of Apes), published in 1921. This paper analyzes Köhler’s experiments and notions of intelligent behavior in chimpanzees, emphasizing his distinctly descriptive approach to these issues. It also makes an effort to elucidate some of the theoretical ideas underpinning Köhler’s work. The ultimate goal of this paper is to assess the historical significance of Köhler’s book within the context of the animal psychology of his time.