The Rijksmuseum started the largest ever live restoration of the “The Night Watch”, the painting by Rembrandt. From July 08, 2019, the museum in Amsterdam city has been erecting a big glass enclosure around the artwork, so visitors can see it performed live.
The multiple-million-Euro restoration of the Rembrandt masterpiece painting will be streamed on the internet so that it can be seen by “everyone in the world.”
The “Operation Night Watch” project is the “largest and most comprehensive research on Rembrandt’s masterpiece in history”, said the Rijksmuseum. “Operation Night Watch aims to preserve the painting optimally for the future and takes place in front of the public in a specially designed glass room.”
The commander of Amsterdam’s civic guard and the city mayor, Frans Banninck Cocq commissioned Rembrandt van Rijn to paint the image of the members of the “Night Watch” militia, including the officers.
Experts say the “The Night Watch” is the first painting of its type to show a military group in non-static poses, and it has the interplay of shadow and light the Dutch artist is known for.
Over the previous three centuries the brooding painting by Rembrandt has safely been through difficult problems, which includes an escape from Adolf Hitler’s party men, losing big chunks from both sides in a movement, and attacks by vandals.
A mentally ill person slashed the painting with a knife more than four decades ago, and the last major overhaul of the work was performed after that incident. Today, it is housed in the “The Night Watch Gallery” at the Rijksmuseum. The museum has a special room for this painting, and it is the most important work housed in it. The ten-millionth person to take a Rijksmuseum tour got the rare opportunity to spent one night in the gallery, named after the Rembrandt painting, in a first for the museum. It was the first-ever time that someone got the chance to spend a night in it.
Experts have seen changes to the work, with a haze appearing on a few parts, particularly in the area surrounding the knife damage. The Rijksmuseum wishes to “understand how the changes are happening and the best way to restore it,” said its director Taco Dibbits when he announced the project back in October 2018.
“This research and restoration will be carried out with the world watching… so that everyone in the world, no matter where they are, can see,” Taco Dibbits added.