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From a Ewa Kotz's Master Thesis from the University of Amsterdam (page 12):

Lesson of dr. Deijman”, together with “Lesson of dr. Tulp” are the only two anatomical paintings where we know the identity of the bodies presented on the dissection table.

The reference given is pages 114 and 115 of Amsterdamse anatomische lessen ontleed (approximate English translation: Analysis of the Amsterdam Anatomy Lessons).

There is a relevant quote in Ritual, Belief and the Dead in Early Modern Britain and Ireland, published by the Cambridge University Press:

Unlike the anatomical subjects of the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the identity of Rembrandt's cadavers is both known and significant.

I suspect page 154 of The Body Emblazoned contains a similar statement. This suggests that aside from Rembrandt's two anatomical paintings, other cadavers in other anatomical paintings didn't have a known corpse.

Anatomy Live: Performance and the Operating Theatre, published by the Amsterdam University Press suggests that the identities of cadavers were kept secret (page 36).

Out of respect for the criminal’s family – to spare them the added shame – the cadaver’s identity was not disclosed. Identification of the body would also have distracted from the scientific nature of the anatomy lesson, since the audience would see a dead criminal instead of a scientific object on the dissection table.

Both paintings are by Rembrandt (hence the title), a relatively well known artist.

I believe that humans have been around for so long that, surely, there must be another anatomical painting where the identity of the cadaver is known. However, I haven't found any such paintings.

Are Rembrandt's two anatomical paintings the only two where the identity of the cadaver is known?

The master's thesis was published June 2018, so please keep all examples from before that date. Brownie points (and a bounty if the painting is well-known) for paintings from the Renaissance period (as the two Rembrandt paintings are). I know that the Rembrandt paintings were commissioned by the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, so I looked up some other similar paintings. This didn't help.

Edit: I have read about all the paintings commissioned by the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons (available here with very nice analysis). Three were based on real-life events. And two (the Rembrandt paintings) depict a cadaver with a known identity.

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    A footnote in a Master's thesis probably read by less than 30 people in the world? Please show this is a notable claim. Did you follow up the reference given? – Oddthinking May 15 at 6:25
  • @Oddthinking Regarding the first concern, I think very few people study such art with an anatomical perspective in the first place. I am sure I can find another claim. I haven't done so yet. I have found it difficult probably because I am using the wrong keywords. Regarding the second concern, the reference is page 114 and 115 of this €94.99 textbook. Given the price, I don't intend to make the purchase and cannot follow up on the reference. – Barry Harrison May 15 at 7:11
  • @Oddthinking I always thought the date was 2005. But now that I check, it is 2018. How could I mess up so bad??? – Barry Harrison May 15 at 8:09
  • I think it is enough to make it notable. I strongly suspect this is going to boil down to definitions, again. A painting made by some artist in 1998 isn't going to be relevant. They are talking about a wide trend in paintings widely known to art historians dating from the the 18th and 19th Centuries. Finding a "gotcha" from the 20th Century or some poorly known painting from the 18th Century isn't going to undermine their academic point. – Oddthinking May 15 at 8:13
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    @BarryHarrison Not every question is for Stack Exchange. You seem to use this stack as some kind of "catch all" for random questions that would perhaps be closed at the different specialist stack exchanges for not having any practical use, but then you add on "Is this really true?" and post them on Skeptics. This question is just a question about history. – pipe May 15 at 11:16

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