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Tue Oct 16, 2018, 11:36 PM

Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch,' Glowing Symbol Of Democracy To Be Restored In Public View



- Visitors admire Rembrandt's masterpiece, The Night Watch, 1642, the Rijksmuseum. 'The Night Watch portrays not only what the Dutch, but all democracies ought to hold dear – the courage of flawed human beings to come together while acknowledging one another’s individuality and difference.'

The Guardian, Exclusive: Art lovers will be able to watch conservators restoring work in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and via web livestream. The Night Watch by Rembrandt, one of the world’s most spectacular paintings, is to be restored under the world’s gaze at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, its general director has told the Guardian.

The public will be invited to watch the intimate conservation process, both up close in the gallery itself and via an internet livestream, in what is believed to be the biggest ever undertaking of its kind. Taco Dibbits said it was expected to be a slow and intricate project, which would take several years and cost millions of euros. “It will be carried out under the eyes of the world, and people will be able to follow the conservation wherever they are, whenever they want,” the art historian, who has been head of the Rijksmuseum since 2016, said in an exclusive interview.

Completed by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642 at the height of the Dutch Golden Age, The Night Watch, more formally known as Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Francis Banninck Cocq, was commissioned by the major and leader of the civic guard of Amsterdam. He wanted Rembrandt to create a group portrait of his shooting company. The artist depicted them moving out, rather than a static group as convention dictated. Its focal figures – almost life sized – are the captain and lieutenant at the centre and the girl in the background left of centre, who is bathed in light and clutching a chicken.

The painting has pride of place in the Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour, which was built especially for the painting and where it sits on what Dibbits calls a “high altar”, visited by more than 2 million people a year. In recent years, Dibbits and his colleagues had noticed deterioration in the work, which was last restored in 1975, following a knife attack by a Dutch teacher. “We continuously monitor the painting and noticed that the restoration of the 1970s had stared to discolour,” said Dibbits. “There’s a whiteish haze which appears on it, so you can’t quite appreciate it in its full glory.” One tell-tale patch, he said, is the blanched figure of a dog on the lower right of the painting.

Because it’s such an amazingly important painting and so many people want to see it, we feel we have to keep showing it to the public even as we’re restoring it,” he said. An ultra white (very clear glass) chamber, 7-metres square, designed by the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, is being built to encase The Night Watch and its conservators.
Firstly the experts will research the painting, mapping it millimetre by millimetre using a scanner, in a process which will take around 70 days. Using the scan, and additional imaging techniques, high-resolution photography and computer analysis, a detailed picture of the painting, from the varnish to the canvas, will be mapped. Only then will the team make a plan, determining precisely how to proceed with the restoration.

“This is a once in lifetime opportunity for the public,” Dibbits said, “not least because the materials we have now for preservation are so much better and more advanced than in the past, that it’s unlikely to happen again for the next few generations.” More, https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/oct/16/the-night-watch-rembrandt-painting-to-be-restored-under-worlds-gaze

>"Time to revisit Rembrandt's The Night Watch, a glowing symbol of democracy," Jonathan Jones
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/06/rembrandt-the-night-watch-netherlands-rijksmuseum

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Reply Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch,' Glowing Symbol Of Democracy To Be Restored In Public View (Original post)
appalachiablue Oct 2018 OP
elleng Oct 2018 #1
2naSalit Oct 2018 #2

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Oct 17, 2018, 12:17 AM

1. Great to see.

Thanks!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Oct 17, 2018, 03:01 AM

2. Nice!

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