MIEREVELD, Michiel Jansz. van
(b. 1567, Delft, d. 1641, Delft)

Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer

1617
Oil on canvas, 144 x 198 cm
Gemeente Musea, Delft

This painting is one of the earliest of its kind in Dutch art. In composition these works could be considered the unsavoury counter-parts of civic-guard company portraits, which often depicts the officers around a table laden with food.

The painting was commissioned by the surgeon's guild in Delft from the leading painter of the city, Michiel van Miereveld. It is specified in the Latin inscription on the railing that the painter's elder son, Pieter, actually carried out the painting following his father's design. No independent pictures by Pieter is known, and he died six years after working on the painting, at the age of twenty-seven.