Why The Night Watch is Rembrandt’s Masterpiece

Consider a trip to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam this weekend and check out Rembrandt van Rijn’s most famous work: The Night Watch.

This Dutch Golden Age painting was made in 1642. Interestingly, the artwork is not actually depicting a night scene; Rembrandt intended it to be a portrayal of the civic guards at day-time, but years of varnish and low light darkened the canvas.

In this video, we find out what chiaroscuro is and how the artist uses it beautifully. We are encouraged to notice the balance between chaos and unity, and the way the central figures of the Captain and Lieutenant draw our focus in such a dynamic piece.

“The Night Watch is an eruption of action, shadow and light, with drama that’s more suited to a biblical or historical epic, not 17 guys from peace-time Amsterdam.”

You can find other works from the famous Dutch painter in The Mauritshuis in the Hague or learn more about his life at The Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. And obviously its always a great idea to follow the brilliant Nerdwriter on Youtube!

Abbie Neale
Abbie, a writer from the UK, fell in love with the Netherlands when she was three years old. When she’s not spending her free time painting canals or playing the guitar, she’ll be off travelling somewhere (and probably getting lost).

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