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By Nina Siegal
A unmarried day in Amsterdam, 1632. The Surgeons’ Guild has commissioned a tender artist named Rembrandt to color Dr. Nicolaes Tulp as he plays a clinical dissection. within the swirl of anticipation and intrigue surrounding the development, we meet a rare constellation of fellows and ladies whose lives hinge, not directly, on Dr. Tulp’s anatomy lesson. there's Aris the child, the condemned coat thief whose physique is for use for the dissection; flowers, his pregnant lover; Jan Fetchet, the curio broker who acquires corpses for the doctor’s paintings; the good René Descartes, who will attend the dissection in his quest to appreciate the place the human soul is living; and the Dutch grasp himself, who feels a coloration uneasy approximately this project.
As the tale builds to its dramatic end, conditions conspire to provide a well-known painting—and an immortal painter. Vividly rendered, masterfully written, The Anatomy Lesson is a narrative of brain and physique, demise and love—and redemptive energy of paintings.
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Extra info for The Anatomy Lesson
Ursula the Divine. the surface of the cadaver utilized in that effort—that of Suster Luyt, an carried out thief—was conscientiously got rid of and taken care of is at present exhibited in our guildhall, may still any between you love to work out it. at the present time, our guild doth signify 80 registered doctoris medicinae, 2 hundred and fifty barber-surgeons, and 3 hundred and ten apothecaries, offering remedy to at least one hundred and 10000 citizens of Amsterdam. I count number a dozen individuals of our famed guild, together with Warden Jacob Janszoon de Wit; Warden Hartman Hartmanszoon; Matthijs Calkoen; and our prized new apprentices, Adriaen Slabbraen and Jacob Block. gents, 1632 is really an annus mirabilis for Amsterdam. It has lengthy been acknowledged that our urban is robust in trade yet in all highbrow endeavors we're overlooked by way of Leiden, our neighbor city to the south and the house to an exceptional collage. This 12 months, my buddies, Amsterdam will rectify that situation. In a trifling 3 months’ time, the hot Atheneum Illustre, our own collage, will open the following in previous city on the finish of the Kloveniersburgwal, led through Amsterdam Surgeons’ Guild member Caspar Barlaeus. The Atheneum might be dedicated to ambitions of all scientia, Latin, geologic arts, and, after all, usual philosophy. The Atheneum shall turn out to the area that there's no position extra illustrious in this globe than Amsterdam, and that i understand there are lots of between us this night who may give a contribution to that honorable target. Ours is a urban of rebirth, reclaimed from floodwaters and outfitted upon the tireless of our engineers and craftsmen. Nowhere is our development higher represented than right here, within the theatrum anatomicum. Even this present day, the good anatomists of Padua needs to behavior dissections in that city’s hid cellars, because the Vatican holds our scientia to be heretical. That church has silenced our buddy and fellow thinker Galileo Galilei, who proposes the view that the solar doth now not flow, yet that earth revolves approximately it. i want to assert, on behalf of the governors of our guild: permit stable Galilei come to Amsterdam, and we will welcome him and his Copernican perspectives! For ours is a unfastened urban, the place the best minds of Europe may perhaps sign up for jointly and have fun real knowledge. See between us this night, gentleman, that our city is already a haven for nice thinkers. we have now with us this very night our expensive pal and fellow thinker René Descartes from Paris, who honors us together with his presence in our humble anatomical theater. Please subscribe to me in welcoming him, sires, for he's an beginner anatomist in his personal correct. Paris, Padua, Genoa, Venice, and Antwerp—all those towns could compete for prominence, my buddies, yet none fits Amsterdam’s independence; our social, financial, highbrow liberty. now we have between our electorate a number of the maximum minds of all Europe, realized and skillful anatomists painters, architects, draftsmen, engineers. I realize between us this night a lot of those dignitaries. a few of you I do remorse i don't but be aware of, yet all through those lawsuits you might imagine of this dissection theater as my lounge.