AMSTERDAM (AP) — Researchers and restorers at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum launched a months-long project Monday, using high-tech imaging technology to throw new light on Rembrandt van Rijn’s iconic “Night Watch.”
Working in a specially designed glass chamber, researchers at the museum are undertaking a painstaking examination and restoration of the huge portrait of a 17th-century civil militia.
Art lovers around the world can follow the project online.
“This is the first time that we can actually make a full body scan and that we can discover which pigments he used not only through making little samples but with scanning the entire surface,” said the museum’s general director, Taco Dibbits.
“We don’t know much about how Rembrandt made this painting. And now we hope to discover more and really get a glimpse into the kitchen of the artist,” he added.
More than 2 million people each year visit the Rijksmuseum, which has the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt works. The Golden Age master is known for his innovative use of light and rebellious compositions.
The restoration project comes in a year that marks the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1669 and is part of a “Year of Rembrandt” at the museum.
Associated Press writer Mike Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.