The Anatomy Lesson
Written by Nina Siegal
Trade Paperback, 288 pages | Anchor | Fiction – Literary; Fiction – Historical; Fiction – Medical | $15.95 | December 2, 2014 | 978-0-8041-6923-3 (0-8041-6923-3)
A single day in Amsterdam, 1632. The Surgeons’ Guild has commissioned a young artist named Rembrandt to paint Dr. Nicolaes Tulp as he performs a medical dissection. In the swirl of anticipation and intrigue surrounding the event, we meet an extraordinary constellation of men and women whose lives hinge, in some way, on Dr. Tulp’s anatomy lesson. There is Aris the Kid, the condemned coat thief whose body is to be used for the dissection; Flora, his pregnant lover; Jan Fetchet, the curio dealer who acquires corpses for the doctor’s work; the great René Descartes, who will attend the dissection in his quest to understand where the human soul resides; and the Dutch master himself, who feels a shade uneasy about this assignment.
As the story builds to its dramatic conclusion, circumstances conspire to produce a famous painting—and an immortal painter. Vividly rendered, masterfully written, The Anatomy Lesson is a story of mind and body, death and love—and redemptive power of art.