The Night Watch by Rembrandt

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

The Night Watch
Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Oil on Canvas – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Often referred to as a ‘corporation portrait’, “The Night Watch” is uniquely Dutch. Rembrandt painted this large canvas between 1640 and 1642 as a commission for the musketeer branch of a civic militia, a wealthy segment of Amsterdam’s society. Members could be assigned to put out fires, guard gates, police the streets, and maintain order. They were required to attend parades for visiting royalty and festive occasions. Rembrandt presented a bustling and somewhat confused scene of members preparing for an event.

Rembrandt 1606-1669

Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Born: 15 July 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
Nationality: Dutch
Died: 4 October 1669, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rembrandt’s life and work were fuelled by an intense psychological study of people, objects, and their surroundings and a strong Christian devotion. Incredibly gifted, Rembrandt became a master of portraiture, historical, mythological, and biblical sense from a very young age. His techniques and use of materials were sensitive and spontaneous. His everchanging approach to colour, composition, and shadow produced powerfully moving and natural moments of human existence. His mastery of light and texture emphasized emotional depth and weaved a common theme through all his work confirming his status as one of art’s greatest and most innovative masters

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