“The Night Watch”, one of Rembrandt van Rijn’s most recognized works, can finally be seen in its entirety thanks to a major restoration made through artificial intelligence.
According to the AP agency, a combination of art and artificial intelligence has allowed the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to recreate parts of the iconic painting that had been cut 70 years after Rembrandt finished it.
The artist painted the work in 1642 on behalf of the mayor and leader of the civic guard of Amsterdam, to represent the members of the militia,
After hanging in the civic guards club for 73 years, the painting was transferred to the Amsterdam City Council, but since it did not fit between the two doors, it was cut, according to Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum.
Now, the lost figures of two men and a small boy were recovered in the left part of the painting, right where a 60-centimeter strip was cut.
This reconstruction was possible thanks to a small copy made in the 17th century by Gerrit Lundens. An artificial intelligence program compared that copy with the original painting, and thus the new result was possible.
The final image was printed on canvas, varnished, and then placed on four metal frames located around the painting.
Thus, now it is seen how Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, dressed in black, and his lieutenant, in white uniform, step aside to show how the militia is on the move, while the other additional figures on the left give depth and perspective.