The homology between hylobatid chromosomes and other primates has long remained elusive. We used chromosomal in situ suppression hybridization of all human chromosome-specific DNA libraries to "paint" the chromosomes of primates and establish homologies between the human, great ape (chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan), and gibbon karyotypes (Hylobates lar species group, 2n = 44). The hybridization patterns unequivocally demonstrate the high degree of chromosomal homology and synteny of great ape and human chromosomes. Relative to human, no translocations were detected in great apes, except for the well-known fusion-origin of human chromosome 2 and a 5;17 translocation in the gorilla. In contrast, numerous translocations were detected that have led to the massive reorganization of the gibbon karyotype: the 22 autosomal human chromosomes have been divided into 51 elements to compose the 21 gibbon autosomes. Molecular cytogenetics promises to finally allow hylobatids to be integrated into the overall picture of chromosomal evolution in the primates.