Tulp's Medical Observations


TULP, N. Observationum medicarum. 1641.

Illustration of conjoined twins and an illustration of an ‘orang-outang’, from the first edition of Nicolaes Tulp’s 1641 Observationum medicarum, known familiarly as the “Book of Monsters”.  The ‘orang-outang’ described by Tulp is thought to be the first ape ever imported into Europe. Tulp, famously depicted by Rembrandt in his painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, served as praelector at the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, giving annual anatomy lessons when bodies of executed criminals were available.  Lodewijk Elzevier published a second edition of Tulp’s work in 1652.

[EHC 08.1641.Tul] [Willems 980]