Monday, 17 June 2013

The Night Watch

A sensitive reading of The Night Watch by Guardian writer Jonathan Jones has Rembrandt depicting democracy in action , the assortment of different types of people as night falls assembled to protect their community. Rembrandt's painting is once more on show after 10 years of renovation of the Rijksmuseum hindered access to their marvellous collection.
The Rijksmuseum used imagination and digital technology and the Internet to keep their works as visible as possible whilst the museum was closed. I blogged about one of the ways they used back in November (6th). It comes as no surprise to me therefore to see that, to advertise the reopening, the Museum staged a rather wondrous re-enactment of the Night Watch in a shopping centre.

And here are Jonathan's lovely words about Rembrandt's Night Watch, words that help keep alive for us the idea that art is important ...

"In the 21st century, as democracy and community are beset by menaces from climate change to the violent economics of austerity, The Night Watch ought to be cherished as political art. It portrays not only what the Dutch, but all democracies ought to hold dear – the courage of flawed human beings to come together while acknowledging one another's individuality and difference. It is an icon of tolerance, diversity and the magic golden light that makes a society work. While these ordinary people stand guard, we feel a bit safer in our collective defiance of the dark".

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