La Ronde de nuit

Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Amsterdam, NetherlandsRijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Rembrandt, 1642

genre painting

The best known work by Rembrandt, this painting resides at the State Museum in Amsterdam, where it is lauded as one of the most famous paintings in the world. For much of its history, the painting was covered with a thick layer of varnish, giving the impression that it was a night scene, hence the name. The varnish was removed in 1940, revealing the bright colors of the painting. The painting has also suffered damage at the hand of art dealers, who in 1715 cut the painting down on three side on order to fit it between two columns, and vandals, who have purposely tried to ruin the painting. In 1975, an unemployed school teacher attacked the work, leaving a large section of zig-zags scratches. The painting was successfully restored, although the scratches are still somewhat visible. In 1990, the painting was attacked again, by a man who threw acid on the canvas. The acid was quickly neutralized, however, and the painting was saved.

image of La Ronde de nuit