The Anatomy Lesson / animation / 2010 The painting shows doctor Nicolaes Tulp who is explaining the muscles of the  arm to the present medical profesionals. The cadaver in the painting is Aris Kindt who  was hanged previously that day for armed robbery. Some of the observers are  aristocrats who paid commissions to be included in the painting. The event in the  painting took place on January 16th 1632 at the Guild of Surgeons in Amsterdam,  where Tulp belonged and had the title of the Praelector Anatomiae (the official  Anatomist of the City of Amsterdam). He was allowed to perform only one public  dissection a year, the body to be dissected had to be that of an executed criminal.  Anatomy lessons were a social event in the 17th century and they were held in lecture  rooms which were actually theatres, with students, colleagues and the general public  being permitted to attend on payment of an entrance fee. The observers are  appropriately dressed for this solemn social occasion. It is believed that, with the  exception of the figures to the rear and left, these people were added to the picture  later. There is one person missing in the painting - the Preparator whose task was to  prepare the body for the lesson. In the 17th century, such a renowned scientist, as  doctor Tulp was, could not be expected to deal with a menial and bloody work such as  dissection, such tasks would be left to others. That is the reason why there are no  cutting instruments visible in the painting. Instead, if we look in the bottom right  corner we see a huge open tome of an anatomy treatise. It is probably the book called  De humani corporis fabrica, written by Andreas Vesalius and published in 1543.  Contemporary experts discussed the accuracy of the 26-year-old Rembrandt in terms  of how he painted the muscles and the tendons. It is unknown how he obtained his  knowledge, it is possible that he copied the details from the anatomy treatise. The face  of the cadaver is partly shaded, a suggestion of the ‘’shadow of death’’ (umbra mortis), a technique that Rembrandt is to use often later. The painting is signed in the upper  right corner with Rembrandt f[ecit] 1632. As far as we know, it was the first time that  he signed a painting with his own name instead of RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon  van Leiden), which is a sign of a growing artistic confidence. Recent examination by  Dutch scientists revealed that there were several inconsistencies between the left  forearm in the painting and its dissected part.   Anatomy Lesson in vivo, painted in robust Rembrandt’s colours which are  moving at the same time, playing with the bloody human organs as if they are deflated  balls of a played and, most likely, lost game of life, this modern Anatomy Lesson  accompanied by a melodious voice of a competent lecturer, with a clear and therefore,  precise articulation of an ancient urge for final knowledge, Danilo Kis in his  ‘’Anatomy Lesson’’ describes professor Tulp in the following way: ‘’Professor Tulp  used anatomical devices to stretch the tissues of the skinless left forearm in order to  show the students the intricacy of muscles and fibers, and veins and arteries devoid of  blood. He is demonstrating this with tranquility and composure of a man who is aware  of the fact that the human body is simply a digestive machine once stripped of mental  functions or the soul and ethics, it is nothing but a skin, a mixture of bowels and  nerves, a bundle of fibers and flesh, same as the skinless ox that Rembrandt painted  five years later: a bunch of flesh hanged upside down….’’ As far Kis and his  description are concerned, there is nothing I would object to. The thing is, unlike his  artistically trained predecessor, Kis genuinely knew that, after all, human body along  with its immortal soul, its clear-cut morals and all its mental functions is nothing but  the skinless ox of Rembrandt’s from Louvre. We are not able to say who is more  scientifically advanced. Our human story is not completed yet. Once it is completed,  no one would actually benefit from a/the truth thus obtained. For the time being, we  can only be certain to say that Tulp’s anatomical object was a criminal taken off from  the gallows and donated to science in order for him to give back posthumously to the  society what was taken away from him in his lifetime. If that was not the case,  professor Tulp, along with his students and Rembrandt himself, would have been  imprisoned right after the sitting for the painting. However, he found his place in art  history. ‘’I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to realize the relativity of every myth  by the strength of empirical thought during the time when we first grasp the notions  about the world, when the soul is imprinted with myths and prejudice, when a  person’s mythical and social being is formed. Even such myths as the earliest ones:  the myth that boys from the Bem street are the strongest and the best kids on the  block, that their goals are defensive and their attacks always a retribution for being  offended, that their theory of the world is also a myth, their inviolable land, terra  nostriana, where every other school boy is banned from entering, and the act of  entering would be punishable as blasphemy – the topic that would deeply disturb me  later on in its literary version in ‘’Paul street boys’’ by Ferenc Molnar. Accidentally  and by a twist of fate, I was early forced to change my point of view, that fateful point  of view, just like a character from a novel who is being orchestrated with by the  mighty creator. I was horrified to realize that we are going to move from Bem street to  Grckoskolska or, oh, horror! from the street of Louis Barthou to Telop, where the most seasoned criminals and murders live. I also realized soon that in this cruel game of  immature homo ludens (the game which will find its ‘’ideological’’ and psychological  transposition and its mythical parable in literature in ‘’The Lord of the Flies’’ by  Golding), in this childlike totalitarianism,the notions easily become relative, and all  the beliefs and prejudice – lifted on the pedestal of absolute moral category or  principle – crumble and decay so obviously as soon as you see the other side of the  medal and the wall, the other side of the barricades of this eternal, childlike and cruel  imperialism and chauvinism which stems from the outskirts, from the suburbs where  the poor live, near brickyards, where territorial integrity is defended ‘’until the last  drop of blood’’, where togetherness has boundaries in a form of ideological borderline  of a street or a block of flats, and it is incited with verbal legends in the same way as  togetherness is strengthened by feats and adventures, or by mixing one’s blood using a  cut finger, by a pathetic oath a la David, by coded language, by a whistle which is  used as a substitute for the military trumpet blow while your heart shivers joyfully, by  undertaking a ritual of putting one’s strength to the test, by getting secret names and  nicknames (the influence of pulp fiction), by learning for the first time about bodily  functions, about sex and gender, by nourishing these legends which become nostalgic  memories of one’s childhood once we reach maturity. The horror of my childhood  days was exactly this blurry acknowledgment about the relativity of everything, this  disillusionment about the one and only unalterable constant, the horror which replaced  my initial fears: that we must leave Bem Street due to reasons of incomprehensible  and unthinkable nature, as it seemed to me. This routine order of childlike imperia  where a strict and just Folk-Deutscher armed with a knife and field-glass ruled as a  sovereign. In the labyrinths of anti-aircraft shelters and freshly dug out trenches  (aimed at a different ritual, more cruel and bloodier actually only in consequences)  each and everyone of us had their clearly defined place, their duties and  responsibilities, their belief that they live in the best of worlds. Once the initial fears  were gone, I would soon realize that I would be recognized, discovered and punished  cruelly. I would realize it in surprise and disbelief that even here, in this new block of  flats, the exact same laws apply and same myths of togetherness – the power of  loyalty and the same hatred for the ‘’enemy’’ whose territory is just right behind the  third street inhabited with thugs, hooligans, muggers, thieves, sons of alcoholics and  bullies, crazy people, arsonist and murderers armed with bicycle chains, knives and  brass knuckles; window breakers, girls’ stalkers, wantons and rascals that should all  be killed in the name of our knightly tradition and our street fair play.’’  Anatomical analysis of the social situations in BiH is very complex.Theritory is  still ethnically divided, and the society itself is trapped between the past and the  future, a society in transition seems to be waiting for a message in a bottle which  would reveal that they achieved what they had been working on, but unfortunately, the  way by sea is too narrow and the bottle is not even within sight. “Things are in a  standstill which precedes changes that are about to happen. Even 17 years after  establishing independence, ''territory'' is still fighting the fact that it is missing basic  prerequisites for making a sovereign democratic state: the division of the country  defined by the Dayton Accords is blocking the processes of making political  decisions, the international community is not giving up on its protectorate over the  country, and the society is still being divided according to ethnicity. National, ethnic  and religious differences are beeing looked upon as obstacles instead of advantages.''  We can observe BiH as the centre of key issues in terms of religious and cultural  diversity of the western society: this is precisely the country where a multicultural  society of Catholics, Muslims and the Orthodox should be built, where links between  religion and politics should be discussed, as well as forms of collective identities  outside any ethnic frames. From this point of view, BiH becomes the focus of careful  deliberation in the western society.