Scientists after 300 years have restored one of the main works of Rembrandt “Night Watch”. Now visitors to the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum can see it in full again.
Rembrandt finished his work “Night Watch” in 1642, but later, in 1715, the large painting was cropped on all four sides to fit between the two doors of the Amsterdam City Hall. Now scientists, using an AI-based model, have been able to add missing scenes and characters to the painting. To reproduce the original work, they used a copy and a model that can mimic the style of the Dutch artist as closely as possible.
Art critics note that due to the fact that the work has become complete, both its dynamics and potential perception by viewers have changed. Captain Frans Bannink Kock used to be the central figure of the painting, but now he is shifted from the center. On the right, you can now see the figure of the drummer, and on the left – three figures that cannot be clearly discerned. According to experts, Rembrandt added them to the composition to emphasize the center of the picture.
In order to restore the picture, the researchers first turned to a copy of the work, after which they adjusted the dimensions and corrected the picture. The software, which they adapted specifically for this task, reproduced Rembrandt’s style and color in layers. However, researchers could run it again if they noticed that the AI was not reproducing the work well enough.
The “Night Watch” in the form in which it is presented in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum is imprinted in our collective memory. Thanks to the reconstruction, we can now see that the composition in the form in which it was written by Rembrandt was even more dynamic, – said the director of the institution Taco Dibbits – It’s great that now we can see with our own eyes the “Night Watch” the way he wanted it see Rembrandt. ”