Strap your conspiracy hats on guys, this is gonna be a weird one.
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller was one of the most important Austrian painters of a period of time known as the Biedermeier period.
He’s painted several famous paintings such as the Pilgrims Resting, the Cloister Soup, Time of Roses, and the one below which was completed in the year 1860, known as the Expected Woman.
Header Image Source: WikiArt
The Internet had a minor freak out because it kind of looks like the woman is holding an iPhone!
Do you see it?
Source: The Sun
What the?! Is this time travel?
The detail was first discovered by a retired Glasgow government official named Peter Russell.
He took to Twitter to let the world know about his quirky ‘discovery’.
Notice how we say ‘discovery’. That’s because it turns out that there is a perfectly normal and boring explanation for what the girl is holding.
She isn’t holding the newest iPhone and scrolling through Facebook or tweeting about the beautiful day.
Rather, she is holding a hymnbook. That is, a book with a collection of hymns written in it.
Here’s another painting of a woman holding a hymnbook, painted by Ammi Phillips circa 1826 with oil on canvas.
Header Image Source: Pinterest
See that little red book in her hand?
That’s what we’re seeing in the Waldermüller painting as well.
Despite the fact that our mysterious time traveller had a perfectly rational and boring explanation, what’s really interesting is how our minds interpreted the image.
Back in the days the painting was made, almost anyone could have been able to identify the girl as being engrossed in a hymnbook because iPhones were not invented yet.
But these days, when we see this image, our mind immediately jumps to the image of a young girl absorbed into her phone and oblivious to her surroundings.
This change in how we view art, based on our own experience is quite interesting, isn’t it?
Sadly, there aren’t any time travellers here. Perhaps we should just go back to this 1930’s painting of a Native American using an iPhone or this 11th century piece of a flying saucer at the crucifixion of Jesus.
Still, it was fun while it lasted.
So what do you think, dear readers? Did you see an iPhone before you knew what it really was? Or is the Internet just going wild with its imagination?
Header Image Source: Motherboard.Vice