The Anato­my Lesson

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

The Anato­my Les­son tells the imag­ined sto­ry behind Rem­brandt’s first large-scale mas­ter­piece, The Anato­my Les­son of Dr. Nico­laes Tulp.” Set on a sin­gle day in 1632, the nov­el begins as Ams­ter­dam pre­pares for Jus­tice Day, a pub­lic exe­cu­tion fol­lowed by a dis­sec­tion, ban­quet, and torch parade through town. Sev­er­al char­ac­ters — includ­ing the doomed man, a curio deal­er, Dr. Tulp, a peas­ant woman, Rene Descartes, and Rem­brandt him­self — each tell part of the the tale of how a com­mon coat thief became the artist’s muse. This was, after all, the first paint­ing to which a young artist from Lei­den signed his name for the first time: Rem­brandt. Through art, sci­ence, med­i­cine, phi­los­o­phy, and through acts of ten­der­ness and mer­cy, each of the char­ac­ters in The Anato­my Les­son go on a search for the soul in the body. It is a nov­el of love, loss, and redemp­tion through art.

Read Nina Sie­gal’s Vis­it­ing Scribe Posts

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Ash­er Lev as a Mod­el for Rembrandt

Nov­els and the Art of the Mauritshuis

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