Tim Cook is many things: executive businessman, native Alabaman, multi-millionaire. Unfortunately, we can’t all be everything, and Tim recently revealed two things that he is most definitely not: an art historian and someone who makes good jokes.

You see, it all started on Tuesday, when he was talking with former Dutch politician Neelie Kroes at Amsterdam’s Start-Up Fest. Kroes asked Cook—who is, of course, the current CEO of Apple—if he knew where and when the iPhone was invented.


“You know, I thought I knew until last night,” Cook answered, according to CNBC. “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.”

He was referring to “Man Handing a Letter to a Woman in the Entrance Hall of a House,” a painting that dates back to 1670, a date, which, silly Tim!, predates the iPhone by roughly 337 years.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

In the painting by Pieter de Hooch (not Rembrandt, as Cook guessed), a man appears to be off to the right side, holding what is ostensibly a letter but what can be sort of maybe imagined to be an iPhone, if you squint at it after a few beers.

Here’s a closeup:

Image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

But Tim! Oh, Tim. There’s so much more to this painting than the iPhone.

Like the girl with the selfie stick in the background:

Image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

And a Stormtrooper in the window:

Image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

And the bluetooth headset:

Image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

But we can’t blame you for neglecting to notice those details, because you were clearly too distracted by this.

They’re watching you, Tim. Always.