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Title The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp
Collection University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection
Artist After Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch painter, draftsman and printmaker, 1606-1669)
Date Earliest about 1635
Date Latest probably 1700
Description This is a copy after Rembrandt's famous Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp (1632, Mauritshuis, The Hague). This painting was commissioned from the twenty six year old Rembrandt by Dr Nicolaes Tulp, praelector anatomiae of the Amsterdam surgeon's guild and members of the guild. It was Rembrandt's first major commission upon settling in Amsterdam and went some way to establishing his reputation. Dr Tulp demonstrates to his fellow surgeons the flexor mechanism in the corpse's forearm. It is thought that Tulp himself requested Rembrandt to show him dissecting the hand as he believed that studying the complexity of the human hand would yield knowedge of God's creation. The corpse was Adriaan Adriaans, alias Aris Kindt, who was executed for seriously assaulting another man in an attempt to rob him of his cloak. Perhaps surprisingly, the corpse is bathed in light, creating a sharp contrast with the darkness of its surroundings. It has been suggested that this emotive use of light may indicate the notion of Christ's salvation offered to the sinner.
Current Accession Number EU 464
Subject portrait; everyday life
Measurements 168 x 137 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Dr. Edwin Bramwell in memory of his father in law, Professor D. J. Cunningham 1944.
Rights Owner University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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