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    A previously hidden sketch has been discovered during examinations of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum. The genesis of the famous painting is revealed in an underpainted sketch discovered using new technologies. This allows researchers to look through the layers of paint with greater specificity than ever before and analyse in minute detail the materials that Rembrandt used. The artist applied a brown ‘quarts’ ground and used a beige paint with a high chalk content for his rough sketch. To date, no other paintings by Rembrandt have been discovered that were prepared using this type of paint.

    A team of Operation Night Watch researchers have been meticulously mapping the painting for the past two-and-a-half years and produced an unprecedented volume of data. Rembrandt originally painted feathers for the helmet of militiaman Claes van Cruijsbergen, but later painted them over. The artist also adjusted the leg position of Rombout Kemp – the many scans revealed that the leg initially was painted in a different position at an earlier stage. There are also indications of the presence of an additional sword between the captain and the lieutenant and it has become clear that Rembrandt originally indicated have a larger number of spears projecting above of company.

    (See post on for October 17, 2018)

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