What Makes Rembrandt's The Night Watch His Great Masterpiece

In the latest video from Nerdwriter, Evan Pushak explores why The Night Watch by Rembrandt is his greatest masterpiece. Originally known by the rather unwieldly title Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, though depicting a scene in daylight, because of the dark varnish that coats it, the scene appears as if it were night time - hence, the more recent title The Night Watch.

Measuring about 12 feet by 14 feet - the painting is huge! Evidently the original version was even larger, but was cut down to its current size in 1715. The original painting was completed in 1642.

In this video, Pushak explores Rembrandt’s masterful composition, story telling (and perhaps poking a bit of fun at the Dutch elite), chiaroscuro, foreshortening, and depth of field, and how these techniques create an extraordinary masterpiece. There is so much going on in The Night Watch that it’s easy to think this is a frame capture from an action movie!

ArtCarl Olson