People convinced centuries-old paintings feature iPhone and Nike shoes

  • 13/06/2023
The two paintings mentioned in the article
Some believe the artist could predict the future. Photo credit: National Gallery & Rijksmuseum

Centuries after two paintings were created, some are now claiming the artworks feature modern contraptions used in day-to-day life. 

The paintings in question are two portraits from Dutch masters, with one scene from the 17th century by Dutch Golden Age painter Pieter de Hooch.

The portrait, titled 'Young Woman with a Letter and a Messenger in an Interior', is currently on show at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

However, it's found itself in the spotlight after some fans pointed out that the messenger in the artwork is holding what appears to be an Apple iPhone, even though the artwork was completed in 1670 and the piece of technology didn't exist until 2007. 

The scene by de Hooch depicts a woman sitting by a window in a corridor, with a messenger holding a letter. But some on social media have suggested the letter looks a lot like an iPhone - leading to speculation that de Hooch, who was born in 1629, may have predicted the future.

The Mail reported that Twitter users digging into the history of the mysterious painting have questioned how a smartphone could have made its way into a 350-year-old artwork.

Elsewhere, a mother and daughter were shocked by the discovery of what they believe to be Nike shoes in a painting of a young boy. The artwork, 'Portrait of Frederick Sluysken' by Ferdinand Bol, was painted in 1652 and is on show at London's National Gallery. 

The mother told The Sun the pair of shoes "really stuck out" to her as she observed the artwork. 

"I said to my daughter, 'Hold on, is he wearing a pair of Nike trainers?' It had us in fits of laughter. He's certainly a trendy-looking youngster."

A National Gallery spokesperson told the Mail it was "delighted that this picture has been such a hit with our visitors".

"It resonated with followers when we put out a tweet asking people to see if they could spot a more 'modern' detail by taking a close look at the shoes of the eight-year-old boy in the portrait."