It was painted in 1632. It is an oil painting on canvas, its measures are 169.5 cm high and 216.5 cm wide. It is kept in the Mauritshuis in The Hague (Netherlands).
It was the first portrait painted by Rembrandt, who was 26 years old. It was commissioned by the powerful guild of surgeons, of which Doctor Tulp, a famous physician of Amsterdam, was an eminent representative. An anatomy piece of this kind has a central motif, an anatomy lesson, and a protagonist, the praelector or reader. This painting was occasioned by the anatomy lesson that Tulp gave in January 1632. Twice a week a leading physician gave the Amsterdam surgeons a theory lesson. One element of this extra training was attendance at practical demonstrations in the anatomy theatre in order to gain a greater understanding of human anatomy.
In 1828 the public sale of this painting was decided in favor of the box of widows of surgeons. King William I forbade the sale and ordered to buy this masterpiece for his "royal cabinet of paintings."
The main Baroque painting characteristics we can observe in this painting are the use of oil painting, predominance of colour over drawing and contrast of light and shadow.
He painted numerous dramatic masterpieces such as The Blinding of Samson (1636, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt)he Jewish Bride (1665), The Syndics of the Cloth Guild (1661, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Bathsheba (1654, Louvre, Paris), Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph (1656, Staatliche Gemäldegalerie, Kassel, Germany), and a self-portrait (1658, Frick Collection).
Portrait of RembrandtSource: http://spreekbeurten.info/rembrandt.html
If you like this kind of art and you like this painting see this vídeo to learn more about Rembrandt's painting (and some human anatomy).