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Reconstruction of Rembrandt's "Night Watch" with the help of artificial intelligence

Reconstruction of Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” with the help of artificial intelligence

More than 300 years after one of the worst vandalism ever suffered by a work of art, artificial intelligence has come to the aid of Rembrandt’s “Night’s Watch” to reconstruct entire damaged parts.

That colossal image, among the most famous in the world, is now in its original format thanks to artificial intelligence. On the basis of a small copy of a 17th-century work, scientists managed to restore the lost pieces of the painting. These pieces were then printed and placed into a masterpiece.

“It’s really exciting to see the movie,” said Tako Dibits, director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The reconstruction reveals the dynamism of Rembrandt’s original composition. It shifts from the center of the image to the side towards the two main characters, the captain of the Amsterdam bourgeois militia, Frans Banning Kok, and his deputy Willemam van Ruitenburka, Dibtis said.

The museum, which recently reopened, will keep those reconstructed panels for three months as part of a major renovation, conducted in 2019 and streamed live over the internet.

The artist painted the work in 1642 and it is an oil-on-canvas technique. The 3.8 meter by 4.5 meter figure weighs 337 kilograms. The last restoration was in 1975, when a museum visitor scratched it with a knife.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) is one of the most important painters of the Baroque. His most famous works are, in addition to “The Night Watch”, “The Jewish Bride”, “Anna and Tobías”, “A Woman Caught in Adultery”, “Dr. Tulp’s Anatomy Class”, “Taking Off the Cross” , as well as 36 self-portraits.