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a painting from 1860 shows a woman using … an iPhone?

On numerous occasions we have seen stories of supposed time travelers that appear in photographs or paintings. This type of coincidence makes us think that there is people with particular objects long before they were invented. And now it has happened with the iPhone.

painting 1860 woman with iphone“The expected one”, by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

It’s about a painting by the Austrian painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, who lived between 1793 and 1865. Among all his work, today we highlight the one entitled “The expected one”, painted in 1860.

In this work we can see a landscape with a woman in the background and what looks like a boy in love in the left area. But the most curious of all is that the woman appears to be holding something that is the same shape and size as a current smartphone.

It’s more, the position of the hands and the gaze precisely towards that object make us think that it may be answering a WhatsApp or looking at Instagram. If the painting were a current photo, few would doubt that you have a smartphone in hand.

A confusion of the present time

The interpretation of this painting has caused quite a stir after many publications. Even Gerald Weinpolter, CEO of the art agency austrian-paintings.at, had to go out to ensure that there was no modern technology in the paint.

The girl in this painting by Waldmüller is not playing with her new iPhone X, but is going to church with a small prayer book in her hands »

Peter Russell, a retired Glasgow local government official, revealed, when he saw the painting in an art gallery for works of the 18th and 19th centuries Munich, the importance of context when observing and appreciating art. “What strikes me the most is how much technology has changed the interpretation of painting and, in some way, has taken advantage of all its context.”

Clearly the context and current events cloud our minds and they make us interpret different things. Anyone who saw the painting in 1860 would see a prayer book, however in the 21st century that is not common, so we lean towards an iPhone.