The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp by Rembrandt

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp
Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Oil on canvas
Mauritshuis Art Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands

Posed awkwardly in a pyramid seven men with bright, white ruffs are watching Dr Tulp intently as he facilitates and anatomy lesson. Dr Tulp commands the righthand side of the painting, as he demonstrates on a male cadaver. The unity of the composition and the angle and size of the dead man draw the viewer into the centre of the painting. Purely a Dutch institution, this type of group portrait was a unique and long established tradition that documented and honoured the officers of a guild or other organization.

Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Born: 15 July 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
Nationality: Dutch
Died: 4 October 1669, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rembrandt’s life and work were fuelled by an intense psychological study of people, objects, and their surroundings and a strong Christian devotion. Incredibly gifted, Rembrandt became a master of portraiture, historical, mythological, and biblical sense from a very young age. His techniques and use of materials was sensitive and spontaneous. His everchanging approach to colour, composition, and shadow produced powerfully moving and natural moments of the human existence. His mastery of light and texture emphasized emotional depth weaved a common theme through all his work confirming his status as one of art’s greatest and innovative masters.

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