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The Night Watch

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn1642

Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum

The Night Watch, the most famous painting in the Rijksmuseum, actually has another title: Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq. A militia painting is a group portrait of a division of the civic guard. Rembrandt depicted the group of militiamen in an unusual way. Not in a neat row or sitting at their annual banquet, rather, he recorded a moment: a group of militiamen have just moved into action and are about to march off.

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Details

  • Title: The Night Watch
  • Creator: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
  • Date Created: 1642
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: On loan from the City of Amsterdam
  • Physical Dimensions: w4370 x h3630 mm
  • Original Title: Officierenen andere schutters van wijk II in Amsterdam onder leiding van kaptitein FransBanninck Cocq en luitenant Willem van Ruytenburch, bekend als de 'Nachtwacht'
  • Additional Viewing Notes: The names of the eighteen militiamen portrayed in the painting are on a shield above the gate. A company comprised more members, but only those who paid were included in the group portrait. The drummer was hired and was therefore allowed to be in the painting for free. Rembrandt added the others to enliven the painting. Three people on the left of the picture disappeared in the eighteenth century when part of the canvas was cut off. We are now only able to match a few names to the faces in the portrait.
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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