AkzoNobel and Rijksmuseum provide a clear picture of plans for the restoration of Rembrandt’s Night Watch Automatic translate
The next stage of the innovative partnership between AkzoNobel and Rijksmuseum to restore Rembrandt’s Night Watch in Amsterdam is based on advanced scientific research in the field of color, light and paint.
Rembrandt’s masterpiece is undergoing the largest and most innovative conservation in its history now, when both partners combine their knowledge and experience to preserve and restore the painting in the best possible way. To date, three key areas have already been identified that should be focused on as cooperation begins to gain momentum.
“We are very pleased to work with the Rijksmuseum on such a large-scale project,” says Klaas Kreuthof, Technical Director of AkzoNobel. “Combining the old and the new, we can think differently, act differently and use our innovative developments to exceed expectations and help create a completely new sphere of opportunities for painting conservation.”
Robert van Lang, head of the Rijksmuseum conservation and science department, adds: “From the very beginning, we knew that partnering with AkzoNobel as part of Operation Night Watch was a logical decision. Now we are beginning to comprehend the finer details of how we can move forward scientifically. We have common interests, especially with regard to color and aging of the paint, and we are confident that the projects we are working on will help to look at Night Watch from a different angle and bring it to a new level of understanding. "
Over the next two years, scientists from both sides will work on the following projects:
- Recreating the technique of impasto Rembrandt in order to gain a better understanding of how he created his unique paint compositions - the exact recipe is still a mystery (impasto is a process or method of applying paint in a thick layer so that it protrudes above the surface, creating an almost three-dimensional image)
- Development of individual color calibration to improve the quality of photography and digitization of paintings. This system will also be finely tuned to the specific colors used in Night Watch, which has a very specific palette of dark colors.
- Improving the visual experience of the Night Watch - taking into account the influence of lighting conditions and the surrounding space on the perception of color - using the latest virtual color reproduction technologies developed by AkzoNobel.
Recreating the technique of impasto Rembrandt
Understanding how Rembrandt created his famous impastos will provide an opportunity to penetrate deeper into the relationship between rheology and the behavior of paint during its application (rheology is the study of the flow of matter, mainly in a liquid state, but also in the form of solid particles with a soft consistency). Three different pigmented impasto paints found in Rembrandt’s work will be selected and examined from different points of view.
Custom color calibration development
The second project will focus on color calibration to help solve a common problem with professional photographs of The Night Watch and other paintings by Dutch artists of the 17th century. In these images, the dark areas in works of art are constantly brightened, so photographs in museum catalogs and other publications incorrectly convey the color of these paintings. To significantly improve the photographing of Dutch paintings of the 17th century, specialists intend to develop a color calibration map that takes into account their specific features.
Visual Perception Improvement
This project draws on AkzoNobel’s experience in color and light reflection. The paint on the Night Watch has grown old, and many of the details have become hard to see. To improve visual perception, it is planned to analyze hyperspectral and spectroradiometric data and use physical modeling to suggest those local lighting changes that can be used to solve the problem.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring our expertise in color to a historic project,” says Eric Kirshner, senior color expert at AkzoNobel. “The Night Watch is an iconic picture not only in Dutch culture, but throughout the history of art. Our participation in the project is a convincing confirmation that we are the benchmark in our industry. ”
Operation Night Watch, launched in July 2019, uses a number of revolutionary tools and techniques to deeply research and preserve the famous Rembrandt painting, which was enclosed in a special glass chamber. A specially created project team of researchers, conservatives and restorers from Rijksmuseum works closely with Dutch and foreign museums and universities, including AkzoNobel’s color specialists.
The restoration of the painting “Night Watch” can be observed in real time by going to the rijksmuseum page. nl / nightwatch
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