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Ode to Rembrandt's the Night Watch (with Mufide Halaceli), 2015

Courtesy of JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, New Orleans. 

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Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642. Oil on canvas. On loan from the City of Amsterdam, loan 1808.

Rembrandt painted The Night Watch for display in one of three headquarters that housed Amsterdam’s civic guard. The guard was a group of civilian soldiers who defended the city from attack. In the scene, the captain, dressed in black, calls the guard to action, his guardsmen are preparing their weapons and falling into formation. A young girl, highlighted by the artist, is the company’s mascot.

 

When comparing E2’s recreation of Night Watch to the original it is easy to note that the characters are engaged with the viewer rather than a call to action. The group of men and women appear proud. Are they returning from a successful defense? Are they gathered for a portrait? How has the change in characters and pose altered the narrative from the original painting?