'Original copy' of the Night Watch
ARNHEM - Rembrandt's Night Watch has changed hands. So, although not the original painting, it is the exceptionally fine replica with the original dimensions of the real painting. The work hung in a hall at a company in Duiven and now goes for the dear sum of 23,000 euros to the new Arnhem owner Henk Wim Lijftogt.
Lijftogt is very gilded with his special acquisition. It was an exciting bid at auction house Derksen in Arnhem. Bids were made from the hall and also online. The relief was great for Lijftocht when the hammer fell after his last bid, because the rack was almost out for him. And it is not an impulse purchase, because he also has a nice location for it. The painting goes to a monastery that has Lijftocht, just below the French town of Nancy. The painting must be shown to its full advantage there.
Night watch shortened
The monastery is in any case a suitable building in terms of size. Especially in the most original sizes, the painting does not usually fit in every living room. The Night Watch was painted in the 17th century by Rembrandt with a width of 5 metres and a height of 4.20 metres. In 1715 the original painting was hung in the Palace on Dam Square. However, it did not fit well here. It was then decided to remove a total of about 60 centimetres from the sides and the same piece was also removed from the top. The painter did not experience the violence that was done to his work of art anymore. Rembrandt died in 1669.
The creation of the replica has a special history. The former owner and director of Ruben Robijn, a company in precious stones and minerals in Duiven, did not want to pay the full entrance fee when visiting the Rijksmuseum, where the original Night Watch hangs. After all, in his experience he would not be able to see the entire Night Watch, and in his opinion the full pound for the entrance was not necessary. However, he did not manage to do it, there was no discount.
On a trip to China he came up with the ultimate sweet revenge. He visited a company where masterpieces are being copied. Here he ordered the replica of the Night Watch, but in the most original size, as he wanted it and did not find it in Amsterdam. Since copies of the piece had already been made in the seventeenth century, it was also known what it should look like. No less than seventeen Chinese painters spent a small year repainting the Night Watch. Once the canvas was ready, it was shipped and ended up in Ruben Robijn's factory hall.
When the company was sold years later, the new owner also took over the painting. However, he thought it did not fit very well with a company that sells gemstones and minerals and decided to auction the canvas.
Lijftogt sees himself while enjoying a cigar and a good glass of cognac in his monastery enjoying his new acquisition. However, he still has one problem; he doesn't know how to get the canvas of 21 square meters in France.