Since this celebrated work will always be known by an incorrect title, and since those who have not seen it continue to believe, quite logically, that it is a nocturne Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch, and not until late in the 18th Century did it acquire the name by which it is now known. Unfortunately, both "Night" and " "Watch" are wrong. The civic guards who are depicted had, by the time Rembrandt painted them, become quite pacific; it was no longer necessary for them to defend the ramparts of Amsterdam or to go out on watches by night or by day. Their meetings had been diverted chiefly to social or sporting purposes; if they may be said to have any particular destination in the painting, it is perhaps to march into the fields for a shooting contest or to take part in a parade.
Just look at what Walter Wallace had to say above about the Captain, the Lieutenant along with their men,..... almost as Rembrandt had explained this work of art to his good friend Dr van Loon. I'll attempt to change these MFA expert's words into something that Rembrandt himself would say today in replacement for those words.
Yes,... these Guardsmen's meetings were in the time of peace. If the truth were to be told other than by Rembrandt's words, you would certainly think it would be depicted and be in the hidden secret in this very large abstract work of art.
The wives and girl-friends of these solders more than likely would not want to believe went on in their two week guard re-training period. As these little get-together took place in these times of peace, Rembrandt was wondering just how could he paint this without someone being able to prove that this is what the true meaning was supposed to represent.
Like Rembrandt had said himself,... this would be more of a social get-together than seemingly the painted parade with little children getting under feet as they usually do during a parade, or as the guard being in such a disarray getting their weapons ready in a immediate danger or threat.
"Night" is even less apt than "Watch." When the critics and the public attached that word to the painting, the canvas had become so darkened by dirt and layers of varnish that it was difficult to tell whether the illumination Rembrandt had provided in it came from the sun or moon. Not until after the end of World War II was the painting fully restored so that the viewer could get an idea of the brightness it had when it left Rembrandt's hand more than 300 years before. (Upon seeing the refreshed work, journalists promptly re-christened it the "Day Watch.")
Well,.... what Rembrandt had to say about "Night" and "Watch" is less apt to be seen by day,... but believe me, it had not been actually been seen by anyone, except me, as it was meant to be seen since the time of its creation in 1642 by Rembrandt. I myself see no sun or moon, other than Rembrandt possibly bending down somewhere in a possible darkened miniaturized location of dirt and varnish piled up over the years since it was painted while mooning the MFA experts. Rembrandt once said something like this,... "it is not the things that one sees, but the things that one suspects one sees, things that cannot be proved that they are there",.... this is what he said made his life so interesting to himself. So, in saying this, let's all take a closer peak at what Rembrandt painted into this lovely large painting of the now called "Day Watch",... while keeping all this what I'm saying in mind. Rembrandt, possibly more than any other artist, has suffered from the ministrations of picture restorers. The infamous "Rembrandt brown" is their work, not his, and so too is the widespread impression that he was a monotonous colorist who invariably worked with a low-keyed palette. It is true that the forceful use of chiaroscuro in his paintings, with its emphasis on the mysterious, evocative qualities of shadow, has always disturbed certain critics, and so occasionally has his subject matter. John Ruskin, the 19th Century English emphasis on the mysterious essayist, who had a superb knack for being wrong in just the right words, remarked that "it is the aim of the best painters to paint the noblest things they can see by sunlight, but of Rembrandt to paint the foulest things he could see by rushlight." However even Ruskin, if he had seen a cleaned Rembrandt panel or canvas, might have directed some of his vitriol at the men who applied layer upon layer of toned varnish on the artist's pictures. In the past generation not only the Night Watch but many other Rembrandt paintings have been stripped of their dirty and discolored overlays-with a consequential appraisal by critics of his genius as a colorist.
Yes, and for these MFA so-called art experts saying an artist such as Rembrandt suffered from other artist imitating his style, is like saying most all composers of music imitated Beethoven along with all the rest of the famous musical composers. Its a little different when some thing's which are heard with our own ears,... rather than seen with our eyes, say like most all sightings being conditioned from youth, what is rightful to be looked at, how it is to be seen, and while looking at only what they say is to be seen and looked at. Did this confuse you?
This was absolutely a non-sufferable event of Rembrandt's, for most all artists at the time of him painting and after his death, most did not want to wind up like Rembrandt, becoming an outcast and a bankrupt asshole, while literally seeing for themselves or hearing about how the great mistral had gotten ran out of a city of Amsterdam, let alone being an artist able to paint like him. It is also amazing that every so often some experts puts emphasis on the mysterious which pops up in his works of art, while other disturbed certain critics and so-called artists offers their own essays of what they think of the artist Rembrandt's works.
There is an understandable, if not a good, reason why Rembrandt's works were so slathered with varnish. As he matured he became increasingly free in his technique, using bold strokes, passages of broken color, heavy impasto applied with the palette knife, and areas scumbled with his fingers. This highly personal stlye proved a mystery to most critics of the late 17th and 18th Centuries, who attributed it to laxness or perversity. Rembrandt himself seems to have suggested indirectly that his work was to be observed at a slight distance, so that the intervening space would make his strokes and colors fuse. According to Houbraken, "visitors to his studio who wanted to look at his works closely were frightened away by his saying, 'The smell of the colors will bother you.'" The probability is that Rembrandt was not at all concerned about the smell of fresh paint, which is pleasant to many people, but that he did not care to answer dim questions from his guests.
Unfortunately most were on the wrong road, or should I say wrong tracks, while going in the wrong directions. They weren't able to even come close to seeing what this artist did or was doing in his art. Other Dutch artists couldn't come close in making art as he did. Rembrandt as an artist, his own qualities and abilities of making master painting as he did in his prime was to be his own style. According to Houbraken, he says visitors to his studio who wanted to look at his works were frightened away by Rembrandt saying, the smell of the colors will bother you. This is saying it like it was coming from his own mouth,... him saying the wet paint with his thinning agents, not the smell of color. How do you smell color.
Rembrandt would have said it something like this,... "the smell of fresh paint will bother and make you very sick".' "When the paint dries, it is not all that bad then, and only then will you be able to view your portraits up close without getting ill. It will be soon enough for you to view my work of your portrait,... when they are finished and dried," while this was said primarily to the one sitting for their portraits or their family portraits. This was the artist Rembrandt's main way and reasoning for saying these things so that the sitters would not want to see the unfinished works. Rembrandt's secret ways of achieving his finished effects he would produced would be kept secret, ready to be called a Rembrandt and to hang on the walls when he said they were done.
To their credit, it should be recorded 'that there were a few early critics who admired Rembrandt's rough strokes and said so. In 1700 an English writer on art, John Eisum, published a poem dedicated to "An Old Man's Head, by Rembrant":
What a coarse rugged Way of Painting's here,
Stroaks upon Stroaks, Dabbs upon Dabbs appear.
The Work you' d think was huddled up in haste,
But mark how truly ev'ry Colour's placed,
With such Oeconomy in such a sort,
That they each mutualiy support. Rembrant! thy Pencil plays a subtil Part
This Roughness is contriv'd to hide thy Art.
Yes, let me say this,... poetry is great, if one can contrive the true meanings, what these poets are trying to get across and were saying. Rembrandt knew many styles and used them, all of which was done in his own techniques, and he knew himself which ones worked well within the subject matter he was conveying, while showing us, and other feebler minded blind jackasses, like the one he drew donkey ears on in his drawing of "Satire Against Art Criticism". Some of the Rest of this MFA experts 400 years later, who I'd say pretty much have continue to remain the same, i believe he'd also want them to be included in this sanario.
One or two theorists of Rembrandt's era agreed that his paintings, in their "coarse rugged Way," would appear more coherent if one stepped back from them, but they noted that a similar coherence could be obtained with varnish. As a result, for more than a century after Rembrandt's death liberal applications of varnish, frequently tinted, were applied to many of his paintings by dealers-and what is even more unfortunate-by collectors. Theoretically, the Night Watch should not have been a candidate for such treatment. Although it contains some wonderfully rich and complex areas, Rembrandt did not paint it in the freest style he would ultimately achieve. Nonetheless, this masterpiece received its full gallonage of Golden Glow and Toner. In fairness to the varnishers, it must be said that their intention was to protect the paintings from dirt as well as to "improve" certain of them by making the strokes and colors blend. Inadvertently, the varnishers also rendered a great service to the world of art. In 1911, when the Night Watch was still covered with a thick layer of hardened varnish, an unemployed ship's cook went at it with a knife. He seems to have had no reason for this act of apparent madness beyond the fact that the painting was famous and he was not. But its surface coating proved as resistant as glass, and the attacker was unable to cut through it.
Thank God for a dull blade, thick and strong varnishes, or a too small of knife, which ever the case happened to have been. What a bunch of sickness we have in this screwed up MFA world we all are living in and could also say living on. Varnishes were used in Rembrandt's day and time and it was nothing new to him or any other artist to use it, to be able to have their own works at the time be effective. What rocks do you suppose these MFA people who represent the Masters of Fine art all crawl out from underneath? Do suppose that they hide rocks in Closets?
The Night Watch was commissioned by Captain Barining Cocq and 17 members of his civic guards; that this was the total of Rembrandt's clients for the work is assumed from the fact that 18 names, added by an unknown hand after the painting was completed, appear on a shield on the background wall. Doubtless the guardsmen expected a group portrait in which each member would be clearly recognizable, although perhaps not of equal prominence; it was often the practice for less affluent or junior members of a group to be represented only by heads or partial figures, for which they paid less than did those who were portrayed full length. The guardsmen, most of whom must have been familiar with Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp of a decade earlier, may also have foreseen that the artist would not produce a standard, static painting. But none of them could have been prepared for the thunderous masterwork with which they were confronted.
How do they really pronounce this captain's last name? I'd guess this name only to be fitting for most the ones depicted in this painting, and also for way more than half I'd say of these MFA experts who would love that name themselves, and most others involved with the arts today. Most people back then could not comprehend such a painting, and it is not saying too much for the ones today either. I know what it is that you are all thinking,... who the hell does this guy think that his is? Personally,.. I could care less,... for I'm just venting again, and this seem to be a very good way of getting all this out of my mind and system without saying the hell with it.
The Night Watch is colossal. In its original dimensions it measured approximately 13 by 16 feet and contained not only the 18 guardsmen but 16 other figures added by Rembrandt to give still more animation to an already tumultuous scene. It was by far the most revolutionary painting Rembrandt had yet made, transforming the traditional Dutch group portrait into a dazzling blaze of light, color and motion, and subordinating the requirements of orthodox portraiture to a far larger, more complex but still unified whole. In Rembrandt's hands what was, after all, a commonplace affair became filled with Baroque pictorial splendor, loud with the sound of drum and musket, the thud of ramrods, the barking of a dog, the cries of children. In the forefront Captain Banning Cocq - in black, with a red sash - and his lieutenant in yellow lead the forward drive of the still unformed ranks. The sense of movement is reinforced by converging diagonal lines: on the right, the foreshortened spontoon in the lieutenant's hand, the musket above it and the lance still higher; and on the left, the captain's staff, its line repeated above by another musket and the banner. The effect on the viewer is direct; he feels that he had best get out of the way.
They say the most revolutionary painting Rembrandt had yet made, transforming the traditional Dutch group portrait into a dazzling blaze of light, color and motion? Wow! Who the hell wrote this? How close can one really come without hitting the MFA nail on its head? I must say myself, these traditional Dutch groupies are still as dazzling today as Rembrandt had painted them back then, in all their dazzling blaze of glory, and emotions of the motion being caused by the abstraction lines of this shadow cast painting. Very remarkable!
The powerful contrast of light and shade heightens the sense of movement, but it is well to regard Rembrandt's use of light in this painting, as in many others, from an esthetic rather than from a strictly logical view- point. He was, in the phrase of one critic, "his own sun-god." The shadow cast by the captain's hand on the lieutenant's coat might suggest that the sun is at an apparent angle of about 45 degrees to the left, but the shadow of the captain's extended leg indicates quite a different angle. The picture was of course composed and painted indoors, not while the officers posed for him out of doors, and although his lighting in any particular detail may be true to nature, that is not the case overall. He regulated and manipulated light-opening or closing the shutters in his studio-for his own purpose, which was to create an atmosphere both dreamlike and dramatic.
Wow! Here we go again talking about that nail head that has been missed so many times before. Who in the hell ever said that Rembrandt was logical in his lighting and shadowing of his works of art? They also say the painting was of course composed and painted indoors while also the posing of its leaders and civic guardsmen were also done inside without direct sun light. Let us all suppose that this is the case and was meant to give an impression of outside duty, but in reality was meant to leave a totally different impression in your subliminal mind and soul. Abstractly speaking and as if using strobe lighting as another way of explaining it, just maybe this was meant to be an indoor happening.
The Night Watch lies at the center of the most persistent and annoying of all Rembrandt myths. As recently as the tourist season of 1967, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines featured the painting by their illustrious countryman in an advertisement inviting travelers to visit Holland. "See Night Watch," said the advertisement, "Rembrandt's spectacular 'failure' (that caused him to be) hooted ...down the road to bankruptcy." The myth has been attacked by various critics, and a few years ago it was utterly demolished by Professor Seymour Slive of Harvard in Rembrandt and His Critics. But since the tale has a phoenix-like capacity for self-resurrection, a few of Professor Slive's observations will bear repeating here.
What exactly can one say that will ever change these MFA experts minds, and their own sick ways of tearing things apart and reconstructing them to fit their own sick ways of looking at things and the way they themselves want other to look at works of art.
The painting was not poorly received; no critic during Rembrandt's lifetime wrote a word in dispraise of it. Captain Banning Cocq himself had a watercolor made of it for his personal album, and a contemporary oil copy of it by Gerrit Lundens, now owned by the National Gallery in London, offers further proof of the picture' s popularity. The Night Watch was never hidden in some obscure location; it was first hung in the Kloveniersdoelen, the headquarters of the civic guardsmen, and in 1715 it was moved to the Amsterdam town hall, as prominent a place as could have been found for it. (Probably on the occasion of its transferal, but no doubt for reasons of space, the painting was cut down on all four sides. The greatest loss was on the left, where a strip about two feet wide, containing three figures, was removed. Nor did painting this supposed "failure" result in any abrupt withdrawal of patronage; Rembrandt received about 1,600 guilders for the Night Watch, and four years later the Prince of Orange gave him 2,400 for two smaller works.
Just listen to this sick MFA person talking here and what he is trying to convince us all of. Shit,... if he keeps up talking like this, just maybe they will all get together and reinvent this artist into becoming the Prince of Orange right hand man, like Velázquez was to Phillip the Forth, the King of Spain.
The fable of the Night Watch may owe its stubborn survival to the fact that it is a simple and convenient means of disposing of a complex matter. In 1642 Rembrandt was at the height of his popularity, and thereafter he slowly fell out of public favor, though never to the extent that romantic biographers suggest. What were the reasons for his "decline"? One of them, certainly, was a change in Dutch tastes in art. During the 1640s wealthy citizens, perhaps growing a trifle soft in their security, developed a fondness for showiness and elegance. They began to prefer the bright colors and graceful manner that had been initiated by such painters as the fashionable Flemish portraitist Anthony van Dyck- who, however fine an artist, lacked Rembrandt' s depth. Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro dissatisfied them too, and they turned away from an artist who seemed "dark" and-what was perhaps worse-demanded that they devote some thought to what they were looking at.
Amazing talk here we are hearing from the MFA experts when they say that Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro dissatisfied most and caused them to turn away from his paintings. In their second breath they say what is perhaps worse his paintings demands the on-lookers to devote a little though to what they were looking at and seeing with their own eyes and this was causing some kind of pain. If anyone were really the blame for this, I'd have to say it was Rembrandt himself. In Rembrandt fame and glory as an artist, he wanted more that what could be given up by the artist communities and so-called MFA experts. Rembrandt was the same as Vincent van Gogh or vice-versa, ones who wanted a whole lot more than what could actually be given. Their own visions would remain their own, no matter how hard they tried to make others see what they were doing and had done. vanrijngo