Director solves Rembrandt riddle

  • 7 September 2007

A director claims to have uncovered the secrets of a Rembrandt painting, which has apparently perplexed arts buffs for centuries.

In his new film, Nightwatching, Peter Greenaway puts forward the suggestion that the 1642 painting was created by the artist to illustrate the murder of a militia captain. The execution had been made to look like an accident by his colleagues.

Greenaway claims the artist discovered the men were responsible for the death and, when the Night Watch painting was commissioned by the local militiamen, he hid messages in his work.

Rembrandt also mocks the conspiring group, painting them as to insinuate one was gay and the other a womaniser.

The film suggests Rembrandt, who died a pauper after huge success as an artist, became a target for revenge, as the militiamen tarnished his image and destroyed his reputation.

Greenaway said at the film’s premier in Venice: “I can’t prove to you every fact, but you can’t disprove it either.”

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