Night by Rembrandt is a massive painting by Rembrandt. Keep an eye on the painting as it becomes bigger.
One of Rembrandt van Rijn’s most famous paintings has recently been enlarged.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has used a combination of art and artificial intelligence to recreate elements of Rembrandt’s renowned Night Watch painting that were cut off 70 years after he completed it.
The printed strips are now flush with the margins of the 1642 picture in the Honour Gallery of the museum. Their addition restores the work’s original off-center focal point, which was intended by rebellious Golden Age artist Rembrandt.
The Associated Press quoted museum director Taco Dibbits as saying, “It can breathe now.”
Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch, the two primary actors in the packed picture, are central in the chopped-down painting. The major figures are effectively pushed to the right with the additional digital embellishments, particularly a strip on the left of the picture that contains two men and makes obvious that a youngster is staring over a railing.
Mr Dibbits explained, “It truly gives the artwork a different dynamism.”
“And it taught us that Rembrandt does not always do what you expect.”
The museum has long known that the original, uncut artwork was larger, thanks in part to a much smaller duplicate by Gerrit Lundens painted at the same time.
Researchers and restorers used a battery of high-tech scanners, X-rays, and digital photography to methodically examine the work for nearly two years, combining the massive quantity of data they collected with the Lundens copy to reproduce and print the missing strips.
Mr Dibbits explained, “We took a very precise photo of the Night Watch and utilized artificial intelligence, or what they call a neural network, to teach the computer what colors Rembrandt used in the Night Watch, which colors he used, and what his brushstrokes looked like.”
The museum was also able to correct perspective distortions that were evident in the Lundens copy due to the artist sitting in one corner while painting Rembrandt’s work.
After being transported from the militia’s clubhouse, the 1642 group portrait of an Amsterdam civic militia was reduced down. (This is a brief piece.)