Thursday, May 14, 2020

Operation Night Watch - Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Last August, Kimberly and I were able to witness Operation Night Watch in progress at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

This ongoing project uses advanced imaging techniques to scan Rembrandt Van Reijn's Night Watch in its entirety, recording not only what it looks like today - down to individual brushstrokes, but what changes have occurred over time.

Part of their work is now available online, where you can view the largest and most detailed photograph ever taken of Night Watch, and even zoom in on individual brushstrokes. It's a fascinating peak into Rembrandt's painting process.
 
You can view the scalable image here: 
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/most-detailed-ever-photograph-of-the-night-watch-goes-online


"Night Watch, Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq" • Rembrandt van Rijn • 1642 • Oil on Canvas • 379.5cm x 453.5cm
Here is the scan in progress. The painting is scanned millimeter by millimeter using an X-ray fluorescence scanner, detecting the various chemical elements in the paint, such as calcium, iron, potassium and cobalt. From these scans, the pigments used by the artist can be deduced.

Photo by Saunders Fine Arts
This is the level of detail you can view the painting at with the newly available image. The eye featured here is that of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, one of the central figures of the painting, dressed in black with a red sash.

"Night Watch, Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq" Detail • Rembrandt van Rijn • 1642 • Oil on Canvas • 379.5cm x 453.5cm
Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, whose eye was shown close up in the previous image, is featured on the left.

"Night Watch, Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq" Detail • Rembrandt van Rijn • 1642 • Oil on Canvas • 379.5cm x 453.5cm

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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