Operation Night Watch has started
On 8 July 2019 the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam began ‘Operation Night Watch’, the largest research and restoration project in its history, which will see Rembrandt’s famous civic guard portrait The Night Watch (1642) remain on public display while undergoing treatment. The painting will be displayed and restored in a clear glass chamber designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte located in the spectacular Gallery of Honour, with visitors to the museum able to observe the work of the conservators. In addition, it is planned for the restoration to live stream online. The painting was last restored four decades ago.
Rembrandt’s largest and most famous work The Night Watch (signed and dated 1642) was painted for one of the three headquarters of Amsterdam’s civilian soldiers. It was the first civic guard piece that showed all of the figures in action. Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, in the centre dressed in black, is giving his orders, while the officers and other civic guardsmen are getting ready and into formation. The painting received its current title much later, when it was thought to represent a nocturnal scene due to the fact that It’s varnish layer had darkened over time.
Further information is available on the Rijksmuseum website here.