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Love this painting and have seen it numerous times in the Rijksmuseum. Hope to be there again next summer. Rembrandt was ahead of his time highlighting “ common” people who showed emotion as opposed to stiff royalty in his paintings. He was a master. First saw this in Amsterdam in 1972. I understand it has been restored since then which is probably why this photo seems so much brighter than what I observed.
- This was a vanity portrait commissioned by the commander of the group with each member who wanted to be depicted paying for their placement in the scene. Rembrantd was ultimately mocking the group with his portrayal of them as an unruly and unfit militia. I love the statue of Rembrandt in Rembrandtplein looking down on the three dimensional recreation of his masterpiece and the tourists that flock to pose with it in selfies.
- Just finished a book called The First Salute. Chronicles the Revolutionary War. Learned how the Dutch and the Dutch East India co played a pivotal role in this country’s history. Our first real ally even before we were a country. They literally were the only country willing and crafty enough to make it through the British embargo to sell much needed supplies and munitions enabling us to defeat the Red Coats. So next time you meet a Dutchman say thanks and give them a hug!
There is also a group of statues depicting the Night Watch, a block from one of Amsterdam’s canals. We visited the statues after the painting … fascinating. More info on the painting – Rembrandt’s side profile is set between the man in the top and the man in the military headdress (back row). Also the female figure in white is said to be Rembrandt’s wife. It is truly a magnificent painting to be seen in person!
Thank you for the great history and stories behind the scenes of this magnificent painting. We had a chance to see it at the Rijks museum some 20 years ago. We loved it so much and bought a replica canvas of it. It’s been proudly portraying in our home ever since. I remember my astonishment when I first saw it. So compelling. And huge. Loved your description. Thank you. Thanks for sharing this Steve…you never disappoint, and always amaze me with these wonderful pieces of history! Stay well!