The Anatomy Lecture of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp [1632] – (Rembrandt Van Rijn) Previous Next


Artists:

Style: Dutch Golden Age

Topics: Body

Date: 1600

Museum: Mauritshuis (Den Haag, Netherlands)

Technique: Oil

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp is a 1632 oil painting by Rembrandt housed in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Dr. Nicolaes Tulp is pictured explaining the musculature of the arm to medical professionals. The corpse is that of the criminal Aris Kindt, strangled earlier that day for armed robbery. Some of the spectators are various doctors who paid commissions to be included in the painting. The event can be dated to 16 January 1632: the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, of which Tulp was official City Anatomist, permitted only one public dissection a year, and the body would have to be that of an executed criminal. Anatomy lessons were a social event in the 17th century, taking place in lecture rooms that were actual theatres, with students, colleagues and the general public being permitted to attend on payment of an entrance fee. The spectators are appropriately dressed for a solemn social occasion. It is thought that, with the exception of the figures to the rear and left, these people were added to the picture later.

This artwork is in the public domain.

Artists

Rembrandt Van Rijn

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