The Nightwatch

By Rembrandt van Rijn SKU:1248

The "Night Watch" by Vincent Rembrandts is a masterpiece painted in the year 1642. This iconic artwork showcases Rembrandts' distinctive Baroque art style, characterized by its dramatic lighting, rich colors, and intricate details. The original dimensions of the painting measure approximately 363 centimeters in height and 437 centimeters in width. What makes this painting truly remarkable is its dynamic composition, capturing a group of figures with a sense of movement and energy. The "Night Watch" has captivated audiences for centuries, drawing them in with its skillful execution and its ability to convey a narrative within a single frame.

76 cm

Please note: by default the aspect ratio of the original artwork is used.

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Total € 675

“Night Watch” is one of the most famous and well-recognized pieces of artwork created by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. It is officially titled “The Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq,” but it is most commonly referred to as the “Night Watch” due to its perceived, and mistakenly interpreted, nocturnal setting.

1. **The Painting**

The painting was commissioned in 1642 by Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and seventeen members of his Kloveniers (civic militia guards). It was intended to hang in the banquet hall of the newly constructed Kloveniersdoelen (Musketeer’s Meeting Hall) in Amsterdam. The painting captures these men in action, with the Captain and his lieutenant marching out, surrounded by their guards armed and ready. It’s an enormous canvas, measuring 363 cm × 437 cm (11.91 ft × 14.34 ft).

2. **Art Style**

“Night Watch” is painted in the Baroque style, characterized by dramatic lighting, rich color, and intense energy. Rembrandt was a master of “chiaroscuro,” a technique that uses strong contrasts between light and dark, which he expertly used to create depth and volume, transforming the traditional group portraiture. Instead of static and formal poses, Rembrandt depicted a dynamic, living scene, full of movement and vitality. The use of light and shadow not only creates a sense of drama but also serves to guide the viewer’s eye to important details and the key characters in the scene.

3. **Special Aspects**

What makes “Night Watch” truly special is a combination of factors. First, the size and dynamic composition of the painting set it apart from other civic guard group portraits of the time, which were traditionally static and formal. Rembrandt broke from the conventional approach, making the figures appear in motion.

Second, the innovative use of light and shadow creates a dramatic scene and directs the viewer’s attention through the painting. Rather than evenly illuminating all the figures, Rembrandt spotlights certain individuals, adding to the sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

Third, the level of detail in the painting is astounding. Rembrandt was known for his meticulous attention to details, and it shows in this painting with each character, costume, and object rendered with great precision.

Finally, the painting’s checkered history adds to its appeal. It has suffered a significant amount of damage over the years, including three acts of vandalism and multiple restorations, which have only added to its mystique.

Its fame was further fueled in the 18th century when it was mistakenly believed that the painting depicted a night scene, leading to its colloquial name, the “Night Watch”. This misunderstanding was a result of a varnish applied to the painting which darkened over time, giving the incorrect impression of a nocturnal setting. Despite restorations, the moniker stuck.

In short, the “Night Watch” is a unique masterpiece that combines innovative artistry and technique, rich historical significance, and an intriguing backstory, solidifying its place as one of the most important works in Western art history.

Original size:
437 x 363 cm (width x height)
Art styles:
Minimal order width:
91 cm
Maximum order width:
183 cm

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