Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt & Pieter Michielsz. van Mierevelt: The anatomical lesson of doctor Willem van der Meer (1617)


(Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch artists Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt (1566-1641) and Pieter Michielsz. van Mierevelt (1596-1623). This painting is a so-called anatomical lesson: a doctor is showing a select group of viewers the anatomy of a human. Central in the painting is the praelector anatomiae doctor Willem van der Meer (...-1624). As praelector anatomiae he would perform the annual anatomy lessons on the bodies of executed criminals. Surrounding Willem van der Meer are 18 people. The crowd consists of other medical colleagues such as doctors and surgeons. The two exceptions are the man in the upper right corner (a high ranking official of the surgeons guild) and the second man from the right, the only man looking at Willem van der Meer, (Pieter Michielsz. van Mierevelt). All the names of the people have been preserved:

- Doctor Willem van der Meer (?-1624), doctor in Delft
- Doctor Jacobus Vallensis (1570-1644), doctor in Delft
- Doctor Clemens Adriaansz. van Overschie, doctor in Delft
- Doctor Gijsbert van der Hove (1585-1644), doctor in Delft
- Doctor Jan van der Wel (...-1630), doctor in Delft
- Doctor Vincent Adriaensz. Swijs (...-1648), doctor in Delft
- Pieter Michielsz. van Mierevelt (1596-1623), artist and son of Michiel van Mierevelt
- Cornelis Havershouck (...-1635), surgeon in Delft
- Jacob Schilperoort (..-1648), surgeon in Delft
- Willem van der Tol (..-1622), surgeon in Delft
- Dirck Schilperoort (1586-1651), high raking official of the surgeons guild
- Dirck van der Well (...-1625), surgeon in Delft
- Pieter van der Burg (...-1647), surgeon in Delft
- David Dijkman (), surgeon in Delfshaven
- Assuerus Jacobsz. van Moerkercke (...-1625), surgeon at the orphanage in Delft
- Jacob Poelenburg (..-1624), surgeon in Delft
- 3 students

Notice that several onlookers are holding leaves and small globes: these spread an aroma against the smell. Painting from 1617.







Comments