The Anatomy Lesson

Group Exhibition. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands.

28 September 2013 – 5 January 2014

'Sometimes I Avoid People' (1991)

Image courtesy of White Cube © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2013

Human anatomy is a subject of inexhaustible interest not only to science, but also to art. For centuries, the human body and its dissection have been popular subjects among artists. Driven by their fascination with the human body and the thirst for knowledge, people knew that it was only by actually looking inside the body that they would ever truly understand human anatomy. This autumn, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is mounting a unique exhibition on the subject. Seventeenth-century ‘anatomy lesson’ paintings will be shown side by side with works on similar themes by top international classic modern and contemporary artists. This is the first exhibition ever to bring together all ten of the surviving anatomy lesson paintings produced in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. It exploits a one-off opportunity: the fact that Rembrandt’s painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaas Tulp is housed at the Gemeentemuseum for the duration of current renovation work at the Mauritshuis. The show will give visitors the chance to get right under the skin of their species, as it were, through works by artists ranging from Rembrandt to Damien Hirst.