Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn (1642)

Warning: this is the only painting that has ever made me cry when I saw it in person. This picture does no justice to the original, which is HUGE. You must immediately travel to Amsterdam and see the original in person. (I am so sorry for you!)

It is 142″ high by 172″ wide.

I literally started to bawl when I saw it for the first time. Had to sit down and stare at it for about an hour. Friends left, they were so bored — just like when I saw Jason Robards in THE ICEMAN COMETH on Broadway and friends wanted to leave after the first 90-minute act when no one did anything. Me, I was enchanted.

I am such a geek. And, apparently, old.

This painting not only plays with proportions and “perfect” figuring, it also plays with light and shadow, color, and history. Whatever: it is simply stunning, amazing, and shocking in person.

How can one man, one painter, do this? Clearly, that is beyond the power of science, rational explanation, and mathematics. It is A.R.T.

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