Skip navigation

Tag Archives: rembrandt

With the major event of the re opening of the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam this month I would like to draw your eye to the post edited in 2008. Gueffen held a 'dialogue' with Rembrandt s Night Watch, comprising 9 works. Check the tag 'Rembrandt' which houses certain of these works and the introductory text to the project.With the major event of the re opening of the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam this month I would like to draw your eye to the post on this blog edited in 2008. Gueffen held a ‘dialogue’ with Rembrandt s Night Watch, comprising 9 works in collage of sack on jute. CHECK THE TAG ‘REMBRANDT’ which houses certain of these works and the introductory text to the project.  To see all 9 collages  and the preparatory sketch books in aquarelle , check the website http://www.mgueffen.com.

m.gueffen: Rembrandt’s Night Watch #3

M. Gueffen: Dialogue with Rembrandt’s Night Watch #2Dialogue

Dialogue with Rembrandts Night Watch #2

Dialogue with Rembrandts Night Watch. 1                                             Total of 9 works – Collages: oil on sack on jute – #1

The National Theatre in London staged ‘Hamlet’. For the first time in over 100 years the play was being presented in the uncut version. Though I saw and read the play several times, this presentation was a powerful experience for me. It was a discovery, a revelation as if I heard and saw the play for the first time.

I went to see it again ten days later. Playwriting! What a marvellous form of Art! The wonderful opportunity to reach out, to touch and encompass any subject, and any constellation of subjects, using something as direct as a word.  Painting is first and foremost a relationship between Form, Colour and Line, and therefore can’t reach a wide circle of people as the written word can.  I was frustrated.

A month later I went to Amsterdam, to see a gallery that offered me a show. Afterwards I went to the Rykesmuseaum to look at Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’.  I had seen the painting before, but now I stood in front of it, spellbound.  I realised that I was standing before the answer to the many questions I had asked myself.

Back in London, I started my ‘dialogue’ by making a few drawings after a big reproduction of the painting.  This was in 1976; it took me twenty four years to feel mature enough as a painter to have a more profound dialogue with the ‘Night Watch’. I felt that I can best express myself by working on collages of sack on jute, using my bare hands to apply the paint to achieve a rough texture.

Rembrandt, as Velasquez, was quick to realise and be influenced by the new approach to painting of the Italian painter Caravaggio (1573-1610), his realistic treatment of his models, as opposed to the ‘Ideal Beauty’ of the Rennaissance, his ‘Dramatic Space’ and the lighting of his figures.  The ‘Night Watch’ is a good illustration to the use Rembrandt put to Caravaggio’s innovations.

It’s of interest to note that Caravaggio created his most important paintings during the same years Shakespeare wrote his important plays.

by M. Gueffen

An introduction by the artist for the work of 9 paintings ‘Dialogue with Rembrandt’s Night Watch’.  Photos of the work will be posted on the blog.