Feature Article

Introducing Sister Luyt

We know that Sister Luyt was the first criminal publicly dissected in Amsterdam in 1550, five years before the government sanctioned the practice. After she was dissected by the College of Surgeon's, she was flayed, and her skin hung on the wall of the anatomical theater where Tulp eventually came to practice.

We can't be sure of much else as her skin burned in a fire 170 years after her dissection, along with the transcript from her dissection. However, we've researched the social history of Amsterdam in the 17th century, and to create the character of Sister Luyt we've blended the stories of several different women.

All that survives of Sister Luyt is her criminal nickname, but it's enough to capture our imagination centuries later. We do know that the citizens of Amsterdam were outraged by her fate and called the surgeons "lady skinners" as they passed in the street.

For biscuit eaters famed of yore
Skinning women earns much more

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