Last week, we featured three terminally ill art-lovers’ journey to the Rijksmuseum to see their Rembrandts for one last time. They saw those paintings far more vividly, no doubt, than would those of us lucky enough to have longer on this Earth. Though nothing can convey the experience of seeing anything, artwork or otherwise, for the last time, these animations will at least give you the experience of seeing Rembrandt’s work in an entirely new way.
The videos (see them all here) bring to life six of the twelve canvases from The Late Rembrandt Exhibition, the very same one to which Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland took the three patients nearing their ends. Even if you’ve never considered yourself particularly up on the Dutch Masters, you’ll more than likely recognize most of these paintings. Just above we have, for instance, 1642’s The Night Watch (or, more properly, Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, or The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch), perhaps Rembrandt’s best-known work, and one you may remember Peter Greenaway bringing to his own brand of life in Nightwatching.
If all this strikes you as an exercise in high-tech desecration, give the animations a watch and you’ll find them more subtly and tastefully executed than you might have imagined. You can see all six at the Youtube page of CS Digital Media, who produced them for Dutch telecommunications KPN, the Rijksmuseum’s main sponsor — art having its patrons as much now as it did in Rembrandt’s day.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.