Painting of the Month – May – The Night Watch

Heath, Journalist

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This painting by Rembrandt van Rijn located in the Rijksmuseum, but in the collection of the Amsterdam Mueseum.  The Night Watch is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age Paintings and is window 16 in the Canon of Amsterdam.  The painting was created in 1642 at the end of the Dutch Golden Age.

It depicts the eponymous company moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq (dressed in black, with a red sash) and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch (dressed in yellow, with a white sash). Rembrandt seems to be looking to the three most important characters among the crowd: the two people in the center (from whom the painting gets its original title), and the woman in the center left background carrying a chicken. Behind them,  the company logo/colors are seen in the background.

The original painting in small form sells for about $50,000.   But all of Rembrandt’s paintings combined, are about worth $30,000,000.  Though there are many interpretations of this painting the most common one found is to illustrate the union between the Dutch Protestors and the Dutch Catholic.  There are still many other undiscovered meanings about this painting.

The painting is “unreadable” meaning that people don’t know what the painter meant when painting this painting and is still being decided to this day.

 

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