The Night Watch By Rembrandt Analysis

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The Night Watch by Rembrandt “A painting by Rembrandt not only stops the time that made the subject flow into the future, but makes it flow back to the remotest ages.” - Jean Genet: a French novelist, playwright, poet and essayist and political activist. One of the most influential and innovative artists of all time, Rembrandt (1606 – 1669), a 17th century Dutch painter and etcher, was one of the prime movers of the Dutch Golden Age and was arguably unrivalled in his portraits, biblical themed illustrations and usage of lights and shadows. His artistry was popular since his early years and he was also much sought after as a teacher, with about 50 students over his lifetime, including some who achieved considerable repute. REMBRANDT IMAGE…show more content…
While the 'watch' is highly debatable as it is unclear as to where the militia is headed, the 'night' is definitely incorrect. The painting had layers of grime covering it over hundreds of years and so it was assumed that it was a night scene but restoration threw light on it and turned night into the actual day that Rembrandt had created over three centuries back. Interestingly the painting's failure is credited with the artist's decline, which appears to be apocryphal since the work was a tremendous success since the very beginning and it was likely that it was Rembrandt's style that was slowly overshadowed by the new art forms and genres. Night Watch was a masterpiece in its time and continues to have a rich legacy even in the 21st century, inspiring classical as well as rock musicians, writers, and of course film-makers. One of the earliest depictions is in the 1936 biopic “Rembrandt”, while Jean-Luc Godard made use of it in his film “Passion” (1982) where the painting is enacted by actors in one of the scenes. In the movie Godard asks the viewers to focus on the faces of the actors and not the composition, similar to what they would have done with a painting of Rembrandt. The film was a visual delight, winning the Technical Grand Prize for cinematography at
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