What Makes ‘The Night Watch’ Rembrandt’s Masterpiece


Consider a trip to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam this weekend and check out Rembrandt van Rijn’s most famous work: The Night Watch.

This Dutch Golden Age painting was made in 1642. Interestingly, the artwork is not actually depicting a night scene; Rembrandt intended it to be a portrayal of the civic guards at day-time, but years of varnish and low light darkened the canvas.

In this video, we find out what chiaroscuro is and how the artist uses it beautifully. We are encouraged to notice the balance between chaos and unity, and the way the central figures of the Captain and Lieutenant draw our focus in such a dynamic piece.


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“The Night Watch is an eruption of action, shadow and light, with drama that’s more suited to a biblical or historical epic, not 17 guys from peace-time Amsterdam.”


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What Makes ‘The Night Watch’ Rembrandt’s Masterpiece

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