Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Night Watch by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

The famous Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn was born at the 15th of July 1606 in the Dutch village of Leyden. It is known that he first visited a Latin school afterward she matriculated at the University of Leiden. His father owned a mill and his mother was the daughter of a baker. This means, that like most Dutch artists, Rembrandt came from the lower middle class, but contrary to popular belief, Rembrandt did not live a life of poverty.

The Night Watch is one of his most famous works. Painted in 1642, it epitomizes the height of Dutch culture and art during its golden age. "The Night Watch" (painted when Rembrandt was only 36 years old) is considered the masterpiece of Rembrandt. The painting was known as Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch, after the people who were depicted in the painting and their profession. But not until the late 18th century it was started to called Night Watch.

The Night Watch shows a company of militia officers gathering for a procession in a ceremonial role. These men can be identified as Guild members of the Klovenierdoelen, an Amsterdamer Shooting Company, established in 1520. In the center of the painting a captain dressed in black and his lieutenant in lemon yellow. The canvas is buzzing of activity and creates a atmosphere of excitement by the contrasts between light and dark, shiny and dull colors and a high variety of positions, gestures and facial expressions.
The Night Watch by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
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