Doctor and the Painter’s Anatomy lesson

Photo by Ioana Cristiana vis Unsplash

The arm is cut open 

held out by two thin oil stripes. 

O Doctor a scene familiar enough,

so how did you Rijn stumble upon 

a scene so well detailed. 

Did you go year after year 

yearning to satisfy the Doctor, 

the viewer, 

or yourself Rijn?

Wishing to peak beyond the veil.


Friends or foe 

gather near the body, 

white uneathry pearl oil 

contrasting O Doctor. 

A brush stroke creates an imitation 

cald in a striking black,

outfit centuries out of date. 

But who do you wish to be Rijn?

Doctor or painter,

Master at the body 

Or master of the brush,

Living beyond today.


Does the collar 

stark white, 

contrast to the dark hues

closer to a moral life, 

Enticing life, 

One you could not have?

A doctor painted, 

morality upstanding in the dried white  

Rijn, black as O Doctor brushstroke hat 

hidden behind 

your debts and wives.  


What could you smell? 

The linesseed oil, 

or the rotting flesh? 

As those peering closer, eyes mear smudges of oil 

must reel at the decay. 

But we, 

behind the velvet rope 

smell only linessed and chemicals from the polished tiles.



live in men that peer inside the dead, 

to satisfy curiosity. 

No morals, 

Exist in those 

who paint the cadaver 

as a means to procure a legacy. 

But Rijn, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp 

does not live in grand halls 

of Doctors,

rather behind

 velvet rope,

snotty kids,

and Foot traffic.