Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669) was an especially innovative and prolific Dutch master. He is one of the greatest painters and printmakers in history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt’s works depict a wide range of style and subject matter. He did portraits and self-portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological themes, plus animal studies.
One of Rembrandt’s most iconic paintings The Night Watch (1640-42) is currently undergoing restoration at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. A team took hundreds of photographs of the painting and stitched them together into a massive 44.8 gigapixel image, which they have released online. The level of detail available is amazing. You can zoom in on the right eye of the gentleman in the middle, the captain of the company that paid Rembrandt to do the painting. You can see the brushstrokes better than if you were standing in front of the painting in the museum.
This photograph of The Night Watch took 528 exposures. The 24 rows of 22 pictures were stitched together digitally. The image will be used to accurately track the ageing processes taking place in the painting. Read more here.
The Night Watch is almost 12 feet high and more than 14 feet across.
In 1939, the painting was taken from the Rijksmuseum, along with 30,000 other artworks and moved to a cave to save it from those damn Nazis.
In 1977, a cray man with a knife attacked the painting. He inflicted 12 cuts in the canvas. It was not the first time; in 1911 The Night Watch had also been attacked with a knife, but only the varnish layers were affected. In 1990, some guy sprayed acid onto the painting. Due to the type of acid and the rapid intervention by a guard, only the varnish was damaged.