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The Anatomy Lesson of Joan Deyman

  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman (alternative spelling Deyman) is a 1656, fragmentary painting by Rembrandt, now in Amsterdam Museum. It is a group portrait showing a brain dissection by Dr. Jan Deijman (1619–66). Much of the canvas was destroyed in a fire in 1723 and the painting was subsequently recut to its present dimensions, though a preparatory sketch shows the full group.

   The painting shows Dr. Deijman performing a brain dissection on the cadaver of an executed criminal, the Flemish tailor Joris "Black Jack" Fonteijn (1633/34–56). Dr. Deijman's assistant, the surgeon Gijsbert Calkoen (1621–64), is seen on the left, holding the top of the dead man's skull.

   The perspective of the corpse is depicted with exaggerated foreshortening to give the viewer a sense of standing in front of the dissection table, similar to the foreshortening in Mantegna's Lamentation of Christ, which Rembrandt would have been familiar with through prints.

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