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Set in seventeenth-century Holland, this historical novel imagines the complex story behind one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings. Commissioned by a prominent Amsterdam medical guild, The Anatomical Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp was one of Rembrandt's first paintings to gain public notice; the novel opens on the morning of the medical dissection, and, as they prepare for that evening's big event, follows several characters, including Rembrandt himself.