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The Night Watch

The Night Watch (1642)

Rembrandt van Rijn, the famous Dutch artist completed the master piece, ‘The Night Watch’ in the year 1642 and this painting has since then been his most famous contribution to world of art.

The effective use of lighting in the darkness of the night was considered the salient feature of this painting and it was later found that this dark effect was due to a coat of dark varnish which was then removed. The name ‘The Night Watch‘ was in fact given due to the assumption that the painting depicts a scene at night. Otherwise,  ‘The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq’  would have been the more appropriate title. 

The Night Watch

The perfect use of lighting and the portrayal of the characters in an uncluttered fashion in spite of the crowd makes it exquisite. The crowd has been painted such that a grand feeling gets attributed to the scene. The small palette with distinct colors used add to the rich look of this piece. In the year 1715, during one of the restoration activities, a portion of the painting was cut to fit in the position/frame allocated for it.

Various reproductions have been done by different painters with modifications to the painting as well.

Over the years, the painting was attached more than once by on lookers, although restored back the tracers of the attack using a knife and acid is still seen.

‘The Night Watch’ retains its special place in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and is one of the most prized possessions of the museum till date.

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