Hyper-resolution Night Watch

Last year, the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, the Rijksmuseum launched a major project to conserve The Night Watch, crafting a state-of-the-art analysis and treatment program to learn everything possible about Rembrandt’s largest and most famous masterpiece — how it was made, with what materials, how best to repair and maintain it going forward. They built a custom glass enclosure so visitors could see the museum’s most famous masterpiece during the operation.

Operation Night Watch was still in the study phase when the museum was closed in March. Analysis resumed on May 13th with new safety protocols for the team working in the glass enclosure. The restoration process, initially scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020, has been pushed back to early next year.

Meanwhile, the Rijksmuseum has posted regular updates on the study since it began last summer. There are fascinating articles on the discoveries thus far, including the pigments Rembrandt used and the chemical composition of the painting mapped using Reflectance Imaging Spectroscopy. (Spoilers: Rembrandt painted over feathers that used to be on the helmets of the watchmen in the background and he used arsenic in the gold embroidery of Willem van Ruytenburch’s yellow doublet. Other Dutch artists used arsenic in still lives. He was the first to introduce it to portraiture.) 

There are also some nifty videos. Here’s a timelapse of how they moved the colossal work to its temporary location:

This is a timelapse of the construction of the glass enclosure:

Most recently, the team created the most detailed photograph of The Night Watch ever taken. They have digitized it so everyone in the world can examine Rembrandt’s brushstrokes down to the tiniest crack.

The Rijksmuseum’s imaging team made this photograph of The Night Watch from a total of 528 exposures. The 24 rows of 22 pictures were stitched together digitally with the aid of neural networks. The final image is made up of 44.8 gigapixels (44,804,687,500 pixels), and the distance between each pixel is 20 micrometres (0.02 mm). This enables the scientists to study the painting in detail remotely. The image will also be used to accurately track any future ageing processes taking place in the painting.

Dive as deep you like into The Night Watch here

Share

RSS feed

7 Comments »

Comment by MAHoffman
2020-09-17 23:27:40

Incredible! Fantastic! Someone tell me why he would have used arsenic?

 
Comment by Jim
2020-09-18 07:35:21
 
Comment by Jim
2020-09-18 07:38:31

Look up the article titled
“Pigment: Arsenic, Orpiment and Realgar”.

 
Comment by Jim
2020-09-18 13:39:10

Pigment is like alchemy…nice things are sometimes made of noxious things.
Any painter will tell you that lead paint was bliss to work-with.

 
Comment by Jim
2020-09-18 13:41:13

Don’t forget the library-paint at Mt. Vernon. It is pigmented with copper acetate, which process kept killing people.
Sure is pretty though.

 
Comment by Albertus Minimus
2020-09-19 09:11:45

Then there was the practice of painting watch face numerals with radium…it did produce glowing results.

 
Comment by Trevor
2020-09-28 04:13:44

Pigment is like alchemy…nice things are sometimes made of noxious things.

Like pork chops, Jim!

 
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI

;) :yes: :thanks: :skull: :shifty: :p :ohnoes: :notworthy: :no: :love: :lol: :hattip: :giggle: :facepalm: :evil: :eek: :cry: :cool: :confused: :chicken: :boogie: :blush: :blankstare: :angry: :D :) :(

Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Navigation

Search

Archives

October 2020
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Other

Add to Technorati Favorites

Syndication