Rembrandt Reality app
Het Mauritshuis Den Haag BY-NC-ND

Rembrandt Reality app

The Mauritshuis museum has developed the app 'Rembrandt Reality', with which you interactively can experience the painting The anatomical lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The painting shows the anatomical lesson that Dr. Tulp gave in January 1632. Tulp shows how the muscles of the arm run. The painting is in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, but you can now experience the painting anywhere on your mobile or tablet.

The explanation on the website of the museum says: "The Rembrandt Reality app takes you through time to 1632. In the Anatomical Theater in Amsterdam you look over Rembrandt's shoulder and see how Dr. Tulp and his fellow doctors study the body of the criminal Aris Kindt."

Historically incorrect

It is remarkable that in the app the painting is situated in the anatomical theater of the Waag. The Theatrum Anatomicum was in fact built in 1691. Rembrandt never saw the Theatrum, because he died in 1669. The painting was not painted in the Waag but was on display there for some time, in the room of the Surgeons Guild on the first floor.

A similar mistake was previously made in an interactive diorama by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen from Aalto University in Finland. The new app does however offer a good opportunity to study the ceiling of theater.