Rembrandt’s Night Watch restored to full size

The world famous painting has actually been incomplete since 1715, when the sides were cut off. Now, the Rijksmuseum has recreated its missing sides.

The painting, made in 1642, was moved to a new location in 1715. Pieces of the side were cut off in order to fit it between two doors. However, there’s a copy of the full painting, so we know what they looked like.

To recreate the sides, a computer programme was used. This programme analysed Rembrandt’s painting style so it could ‘paint’ like the Dutch master. This was necessary, because the copy is painted in a different style so it couldn’t be copied directly. While we can’t claim that this is exactly what the Night Watch originally looked like, it’s an impressive technological feat with many interesting possibilities.

The copy, made in the 17th century, possibly by Gerrit Lunden. The missing sides are marked.

Currently, the recreated missing panels are separate from the main painting and will be removed later this year, when the painting itself will be restored.

Source: NOS (Dutch), the Guardian (English)

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