Name: Doctor Nicolaes Tulp's Demonstration of the Anatomy of the Arm. (Detail)
Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn
Location: Mauritshuis Museum, The Hague, Holland
This is the painting with which Rembrandt established his reputation as a portrait painter. The group shows seven members of Amsterdam's surgeon guild in 1628. The bright corpse dominates the foreground and seems to illuminate the heads. Dr Nicolaes Tulp, on the right, holds forceps in his right hand, lifting the muscles and tendons of the arm that control the movement of the hand, while the bent fingers of his left hand demonstrate an aspect of their delicate action. The personality of each character is finely drawn. The tension emanating from this beautiful painting is palatable.