In 1642, Rembrandt painted the Night Watch, an astonishing and unique piece of art for its time that featured the “Militia Company of District II” in the Netherlands.
The painting is famous for its colossal size (3.63m x 4.37m (12 by 14+1⁄2 feet)), the dramatic use of light and shadow, and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a static military group portrait.
Rembrandt broke the status quo by delivering a painting full of movement, shades and subliminal details, making it one of the most important paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.
The Delft Blue Night Watch is “The Famous Night Watch of Rembrandt in Royal Delft Blue” and it was entirely hand-painted by two master painters of the Royal Delft Company, established in 1653, and it is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century.
The Delft Blue Night Watch has the same size as Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” and it can be visited in real life at the Royal Delft museum in The Netherlands, in a special room created for its display.
The traditional method of Delft Blue dates back to the 17th century and the patterns originate from traditional Chinese porcelain from the Ming and Kang Hsi Dynasties.
Delftware painters paint the traditional decorations on the tiles entirely by hand, according to a century old recipe. This is done with a sable’s hair pencil, and black paint containing cobalt oxide. The cobalt brings about a chemical reaction during the firing process, changing the colour from black to blue. The paint is based on water, enabling the painters to create various shades of blue by adding more or less water.
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