GAGA, The Netherlands (AP) – The iconic painting by Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, will be re-stretched to remove deformations in the upper left corner, the Netherlands National Museum said Wednesday.
The canvas, measuring 379.5 x 453.5 cm (149.4 x 178.5 inches), will be removed from the wooden stretcher next month and placed on a new one to remove the ripples that arose when the world famous painting was housed in a temporary gallery at time of visiting the State Museum. overhaul 2003-2013
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This oil painting on canvas depicts the civilian militia of Amsterdam and demonstrates Rembrandt’s famous use of light and composition to create a dynamic scene filled with characters.
The museum said the ripples were likely caused by “extreme climatic fluctuations in the gallery,” where it hung during restoration work at his famous home in Amsterdam.
“We believe this is very important for the long-term preservation of the painting. The deformation is then expected to ease and the painting will take on a flatter and smoother surface, ”said Petria Noble, head of the museum’s painting conservation department.
The painting has undergone many restorations during its life. In 1975, it was placed on its current wooden stretcher. After the painting is restored, the museum will decide if further restoration work is needed.
The announcement came when the museum completed a long and detailed study of the painting using a suite of high-tech imaging technologies, including a scan that revealed a preparatory sketch of the work under paint.
“It gives us the feeling that we can look over Rembrandt’s shoulder when he was working on Night Watch,” said Peter Roelofs, head of the museum’s painting and sculpture department.
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Experts have long suspected that Rembrandt painted this work before painting it in 1642. Now they have proof.
“This gives us for the first time a real insight into the creative process of Rembrandt. It’s nice to see how he was looking for the right composition, ”said Roelofs. “We have discovered the origins of the Night Watch.”
The museum said that most of the painting remains in excellent condition, and some areas “are in poor repair, in part due to the many treatments that Night Watch has undergone since the 17th century.” He added that removing varnish in the past has likely resulted in paint dissolving in some parts of the work.
On Wednesday, the Dutch government announced that it plans to buy another Rembrandt masterpiece, The Standard Bearer, from a private collection in France.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has sent a budget amendment to parliament to secure the support of lawmakers to spend 150 million euros (169 million dollars) on a painting that will hang outside the “Night Watch” in the Rijksmuseum. The National Rembrandt Association will also help fund the purchase with a € 15 million ($ 16.9 million) donation, and the Rijksmuseum Foundation will add € 10 million ($ 11.2 million), the ministry said in a statement.
For the director of the Rijksmuseum, Taco Dibbits, it is a dream come true – to acquire a painting, which became a key moment in the development of the Dutch master as an artist.
“The quality and the fact that this painting marks Rembrandt’s artistic breakthrough makes it an unprecedented masterpiece: Rembrandt became Rembrandt!” he said in a statement.