Eagle-eyed art-lovers reckon they may have spotted a time traveller in a 1670s painting that looks an awful lot like a woman holding an iPhone.
The painting shows a couple of women in a room, one of whom is holding a small pooch, and the other appears to be holding up an iPhone. Time travel confirmed?
Posting on Twitter, one conspiracy theorist wrote: “Mysterious discovery of an iPhone in a 1670 painting by Dutch artist Pieter de Hooch.”
Another wrote: “Why is there an iPhone in a painting of the painter Pieter de Hooch that’s 350 years old?”
Even Apple boss Tim Cook got involved, commenting on the painting back in 2016, he said: “I always thought I knew when the iPhone was invented, but now I’m not so sure anymore.”
However, before we all go ahead and get too excited by the revelation, the painting’s title might give you a bit of a hint that it’s not actually a smartphone, as the Pieter de Hooch artwork is, somewhat descriptively, called Man Handing a Letter to a Woman in the Entrance Hall of a House.
So it seems far more likely that the woman in the painting is, in fact, holding a letter and isn’t some sort of time traveller who managed to smuggle an iPhone 350 years into the past.
This isn’t the first time people reckon they’ve seen ‘proof’ of time travel in an old painting.
In 2017 The Expected Woman by Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, painted in 1860, caused a similar stir after people thought it looked like the young woman was staring down at a smartphone.
However, once again, calm yourselves, because it’s most likely not conclusive proof of time travel.
Apparently it’s a hymnbook, which would have been all the rage back in the day.
Culture blogger Peter Russell noticed the artwork during a trip to Munich and found it interesting how such a small aspect of a piece of art can change the meaning behind it.
He told Motherboard: “What strikes me most is how much a change in technology has changed the interpretation of the painting, and in a way has leveraged its entire context.
“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.”