In 1642, a painting was commissioned for one of Amsterdam’s citizen militias and Rembrandt was chosen to create the masterpiece. The painting was titled “The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch” and the two most prominent of 34 figures depicted on the large canvas were Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch.
The painting was more often known as “Guards Of The Night” or “The Night Watch” and hangs in the Dutch National Museum — or the Rijksmuseum as it’s known to those in the Netherlands.
When Rembrandt created this masterpiece, he broke with tradition. Instead of arranging the characters in two or three lines, Rembrandt chose to paint something that had movement and life breathed into it thereby bringing dynamic reality to the scene.
When the museum underwent a massive renovation that lasted years, this painting was relocated to a side wing where it waited nearly a decade before it could be returned to its place of honor in the museum.
And when is was time for the painting to take its rightful place again, the museum agreed that they should announce the completion of the renovations and that all major art pieces were back where they belong with the slogan: Our Heroes Are Back. But announcing this wasn’t a simple matter of taking out print media ads and buying space on broadcast media and by way of other traditional media. They had something else in mind.
They made everything come to life for everyday people at the local mall and this is what happened!