150 year old painting appears to show a woman using an iPhone

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Glaswegian Peter Russell spotted the ‘iPhone’ on a visit to the Neue Pinakothek museum in Munich where the painting – The Expected One by Ferdinand George Waldmüller – hangs.

But it turns out she is not a bored time-traveller swiping her way through historical Tinder (we bet that’s a wasteland). Rather, she is engrossed in perusing a hymn book, according to the gallery.

Russell, who now occasionally blogs about culture, told Motherboard:

What strikes me most is how much a change in technology has chance the interpretation of the painting, and in a way has leveraged its entire context.

He added:


The big change is that in 1850 or 1860, every single viewer would have identified the item that the girl is absorbed in as a hymnal or prayer book.

Today, no one could fail to see the resemblance to the scene of a teenage girl absorbed in social media on their smartphone.



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