The internet is sure: this woman in an 1860 painting has a smartphone

A 19th century painting offers a lot of fun on the internet. The work of the Austrian painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller shows a woman walking in a natural landscape with a smartphone in her hand. At least, so it seems, because there were no smartphones in the 19th century.

Gilles Liesenborghs

Yesterday at 20:41

A time without a smartphone. It seems like an eternity has passed, but it is far from it. The first iPhone wasn’t launched until 2007. Yet a painting by the Austrian artist suggests that the smartphone has been around for more than 150 years.

“The Expected One”, as the painting is called, gives the illusion that the main character of the painting is busy with his smartphone as he walks through a beautiful hilly landscape. The woman is focused on the device she is holding with both hands. She even seems to forget the environment. An image that seems familiar to us today. The striking painting is therefore about languages ​​on social media.

“It’s amazing how the development of technology has led us to interpret the painting in a completely different way,” says Russell, the man who first brought this extraordinary painting to the fore.

The Austrian painter was certainly not a clairvoyant who predicted the invention of the mobile phone in his painting. But what did he play him? Well, the answer should surprise you. It is a prayer book, a somewhat more typical attribute for that time.

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