Night Watch, 1642


Rembrandt's largest and most famous painting was made for one of the three headquarters of the Amsterdam City Guard. These civilian groups of soldiers defended the city from attack. Rembrandt was the first to paint all the figures in action in one piece. The black-clad captain gives the order to leave. Rembrandt used the light to focus on specific details, like the captain's hand gesturing and the young girl in the foreground. She was the company mascot. The nickname Night Watch came about much later, when the painting was supposed to depict a night scene.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn | Night Watch