Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” Undergoes Live Restoration

Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” Undergoes Live Restoration

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has begun an extensive restoration of Rembrandt’s masterpiece “The Night Watch” (1642) while keeping the painting on public display in a specially designed glass chamber for the visiting public to watch.

The 12.5 by 15-foot painting has been kept inside a glass chamber designed by the French architect Jean Michel Wilmotte to protect it. Commissioned in 1642 by the

mayor and leader of the civic guard of Amsterdam, Frans Banninck Cocq, to create a group portrait of his shooting company, “The Night Watch,” is recognized as one of the most important works of art in the world today and hangs in the specially designed “Gallery of Honour” at the Rijksmuseum. It is more than 40 years since “The Night Watch” underwent its last major restoration, following an attack on the painting in 1975, informs the release.

According to BBC, experts at Rijksmuseum are concerned that some aspects of the masterpiece are changing. “This detailed study is necessary to determine the best

treatment plan, and will involve imaging techniques, high-resolution photography, and highly advanced computer analysis,” states the release.

“Using these and other methods, we will be able to form a very detailed picture of the painting — not only of the painted surface but of each and every layer, from varnish to canvas,” adds the release.

Taco Dibbits, General Director Rijksmuseum says: “’The Night Watch,’ is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It belongs to us all, and that is why we have decided to conduct the restoration within the museum itself — and every one, wherever they are, will be able to follow the process online.”

The “Operation Night Watch,” is the first major restoration of the work since 1975, when it was severely damaged by a museum-goer carrying a knife, inflicted 12 cuts into the canvas. It had also been damaged twice before. As per the museum, the painting has been treated around 25 times. 

Founder: Louise Blouin 


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