Date
20 January 2017
If you squint hard, you might be able to see the man holding a smartphone in this detail from Man Hands a Letter to a Woman in a Hall by the Dutch painter Pieter de Hooch. Photo: Rijksmuseum
If you squint hard, you might be able to see the man holding a smartphone in this detail from Man Hands a Letter to a Woman in a Hall by the Dutch painter Pieter de Hooch. Photo: Rijksmuseum

Tim Cook: I saw an iPhone in a 350-year-old painting

The iPhone was apparently invented almost 350 years ago, if Apple Inc. chief executive Tim Cook’s interpretation of a Dutch painting can taken seriously.

During a chat at the Start-up Fest event in Amsterdam on Tuesday, Cook spoke to former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes about topics ranging from health to the future of television, CNBC reported.

The pair shared an anecdote from the night before when Kroes took Cook to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

“Do you happen to know, Tim, where and when the iPhone was invented?” Kroes asked Cook on stage.

Cook explained that in one painting at the museum he thought he saw the subject holding an iPhone.

“You know, I thought I knew until last night,” Cook jokingly said.

“Last night, Neelie took me over to look at some Rembrandt, and in one of the paintings — I was so shocked — there was an iPhone in one of the paintings.”

Kroes showed a picture of the painting, but it was a little blurry.

“It’s tough to see, but I swear it’s there,” Cook said.

The painting Cook was referring to was not in fact by the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.

It was painted by Pieter de Hooch in 1670 and is entitled Man Hands a Letter to a Woman in a Hall.

The letter in the picture sort of looks like an iPhone.

“I always thought I knew when the iPhone was invented, but now I’m not so sure any more,” Cook said.

The first iPhone was in fact released in 2007, when the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was still in charge of the firm.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter