Rembrandt’s Night Watch restoration is underway- and you can see it live

Rembrandt’s Night Watch restoration is underway- and you can see it live

The time has come: as previously announced, Rembrandt’s painting Night Watch from 1642 is now being restored at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This painting is about as iconic as it gets, so how long will we have to miss it before it is back in its usual place?

See the restoration live

The answer is no time at all, as the painting is simply being restored behind a glass panel (in a glass box), so the public can still view it, as well the restoration process - an art in itself. Visitors to the museum will only be seven metres away from the famous artwork, which will take at least a year to restore. It won’t just be restoration you'll see, either, as the painting is first being studied extensively.

In fact, “Operation Night Watch” is the most extensive study ever carried out on the painting. The Masterpiece will receive a “full-body scan", capturing it millimetre-by-millimetre to help us understand how Rembrandt created it and what materials he used. Additionally, more than 12.500 photos in extremely high resolution, advanced scanners and lasers are being used to study the canvas at a microscopic level.

The results of the research into the painting will help experts work out the best way to restore the piece, which has already had more than 25 restorations. The 20-strong team carrying out the research is made up of curators, scientists, photographers and art historians.

Watch from your own home

Don’t fancy leaving the couch? You can also follow the restoration online. A webpage (in English) has been set up especially for those who want to follow Operation Night Watch as well as a live stream.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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