From: Rijksmeseum, Amsterdam
The Night Watch painting is a portrait of a militia company by the famous artist of the time, Rembrandt. Rembrandt took the rather normal portrayal of portraits during this time and gave it a little bit of spice that most of the portraits during the time lacked. He gave it emotion and motion, as if the company had just received a move order and he took a snapshot of the scene. This particular artistic innovation that he incorporated was met with distaste, but not a large amount of it either. In most of the portraits during this time of large groups, people were all represented fairly so that there would be no issues of being unrepresented because everyone in the painting had to pay. In this scene however, some faces are completely blotted out by the movement of the people, which caused some dislike by those who were not shown. The most important members were seen out front, the Captain wearing a black and red sash is out front with his body in full view, as is his lieutenant in the yellow and white sash. Near the middle is a girl who bears many symbols of the militia arquebusiers, like the pistol behind the chicken and the militias goblet, and is clothed in a yellow dress, a color often associated with victory. Rembrandt uses chiaroscuro to blot out the background and make the viewers focus on the characters.
Why This Artwork?
This artwork was chosen to show the Dutch Baroque period, as well as the style of Rembrandt, a famous artist even today.