Observationes Medicae (Tulp)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Observationes Medicae is the title commonly used by early Dutch doctors in the 16th and 17th centuries who wrote up their cases from private practise in Latin to share with contemporary colleagues. This is therefore a common title, but this page is devoted to the 1641 book by Nicolaes Tulp. Tulp is primarily famous today for his central role in the 1632 group portrait The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp[1] by Rembrandt of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, which commemorates his appointment as praelector in 1628.

Earliest illustration of a Chimpanzee

Tulp's book has various accounts of unusual illnesses and primarily growths or carcinomas, but also has accounts of creatures brought back from Dutch East India Company ships. His drawing of a Chimpanzee is considered the first of its kind. This creature was called an Indian Satyr, since all ships cargo was considered Indonesian. However, the accompanying text claims the animal came from Angola. This drawing was copied many times and formed the basis for many theories on the origin of man. Most notably, Tulp's work and that of Jacob de Bondt (alias Jacobus Bontius) was copied and republished by Linnaeus to show a link between apes and man.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Observationes Medicae (Tulp)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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