A masterpiece by Rembrandt van Rijn
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INFORMATION ABOUT THE PAINTING THE NIGHT WATCH BY REMBRANDT VAN RIJN
Original: oil on canvas 453,5 x 379,5 cm bxh
The Night Watch is Rembrandt van Rijn's only masterpiece and was painted between 1639 and 1642. Rembrandt van Rijn was then about 35 years old. The painting now measures 363 x 438 cm, after it was moved in 1715 and a few strips were cut off. The canvas has been in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam since 1885. The painting shows Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh surrounded by sixteen members of their militia and a number of extras. The Night Watch is considered one of the most famous paintings in the world.
The Night Watch was Rembrandt's contribution to a project consisting of six militia paintings. Compared to the other canvases, the work is a lively and daring composition. The militia do not pose in the usual static arrangements, but are depicted while grouping. In the painting, realism and symbolism are skilfully combined within a special integration of light, colour and movement. These aspects are brought into harmony by a pattern of chiaroscuro (play of light and dark)
Read more about the life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn on his painting page.