Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' removed from frame for restoration

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to

AMSTERDAM, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Rembrandt's vast "The Night Watch" canvas was taken down and removed from its frame in the Netherlands' national museum on Wednesday for the first time since 1975, as part of a multi-year restoration project.

Completed in 1642, the painting, which measures 3.8 x 4.5 meters (12 feet by 14 feet), and weighs 337 kilograms (750 pounds), portrays the captain of an Amsterdam city militia ordering his men into action.

"For the first time in almost 50 years, The Night Watch is flat on its belly," Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits told newspaper Nederlands Dagblad.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

"Now it's striking just how big it is."

Over a period of three months The Night Watch will be put on to a new aluminium frame, which will remove some warping of the canvas.

The restoration is being done behind glass walls in the gallery where the painting is normally on display - the "Gallery of Honour" which shows works by Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, known as the country's Golden Age.

As part of the restoration project, the painting has recently been photographed to create an ultra high-resolution digital version -- which the museum says is the most detailed photo ever taken of a work of art. The image is available to the public on the Rijksmuseum's website.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Toby Sterling. Editing by Jane Merriman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.