amsterdam museum

Wondrous creatures

The small Theatrum Anatomicum was established in The Hague at a time when anatomical science wavered between traditional beliefs and new discoveries. The anatomical theatre was inaugurated in 1628 with a special dissection of “a wondrous creature, two girls joined together”. Gerrit Claeszoon made his daughters available for the sum of fifty guilders. Van der Maes portrayed the twins with their skeleton and dissected corpse in the background. Above this we see various human organs such as a heart.


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