Saturday, 16 January 2021

de anatomische les van dr. nicolaes tulp

Regarded as one of the early masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn (previously), the dissection (only one public viewing was permitted a year in Amsterdam, to which Dr Tulp as the city’s chief anatomist invited the artist to execute a group portrait, mise-en-scรจne) that inspired the painting occurred on this day in 1632 (possibly two weeks later, according to some sources) in the surgeon’s operating theatre. The corpse, as in all such exclusive social occasions was that of a convicted and executed criminal, laid out in Christ-like repose was called Adriaan Adriaanszoon (aka, Aris Kindt) and was sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery. The detail of the tendons and musculature—especially in the vivisected forearm, is rather remarkable, and is significantly, displaying growing confidence in his abilities, is signed simply with his forename f[ecit] (made me) and the year rather than the monogramme RHL—Rembrandt Harmenszoon of Leiden, plus rhotic glyph seen in the body’s navel.