AkzoNobel and the Rijksmuseum paint clearer picture for Operation Night Watch
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Feb 22, 2020 (PRN):
Rembrandt’s masterpiece is undergoing the biggest and most innovative conservation in its history, with the two partners combining their knowledge and expertise to conserve and restore the painting in the best possible way. Together AkzoNobel and the Rijksmuseum have now identified three key areas to focus on as the collaboration starts to gather pace.
“We’re very excited to be working with the Rijksmuseum on such a groundbreaking project,” says Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “By fusing the old with the new, we can think differently, act differently and use our innovative know-how to go beyond expectations and help bring paintings conservation into a whole new realm of possibilities.”
Adds Robert van Langh, the Rijksmuseum’s Head of Conservation and Science: “We knew from the start that partnering with AkzoNobel on Operation Night Watch made perfect sense. Now we’re beginning to get into the finer details of how we can progress from a scientific point of view. We have common interests, especially in terms of color and the ageing of the paint, and we’re confident that the projects we’ll be working on will help bring The Night Watch to a new perspective and level of understanding.”
Scientists from both parties plan to work on the following projects over the next two years:
Recreate Rembrandt’s impastos to gain a better understanding of how he created his unique paint formulations – the precise recipe still remains a mystery (impasto is the process or technique of laying on paint thickly so that it stands out from a surface to create an almost 3D image)
Recreating Rembrandt’s impastos
Designing custom color calibration
Improving the viewing experience
“This is an incredible opportunity for us to contribute our color expertise to an historic project,” explains AkzoNobel’s Senior Color Scientist, Eric Kirchner. “The Night Watch is an iconic painting, not only in Dutch culture, but in the whole history of art. So being involved says a lot about us being the reference in the industry.”
Launched in July 2019, Operation Night Watch is using a series of ground-breaking tools and techniques to carry out a major investigation and conservation of Rembrandt’s famous painting – which has been encased in a special glass chamber. A dedicated project team of researchers, conservators and restorers from the Rijksmuseum is working in close collaboration with museums and universities in the Netherlands and abroad, including AkzoNobel’s color specialists.
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