The Company of Captain Banning Cocq ('The Nightwatch')

This painting is a copy of Rembrandt's so-called 'Nightwatch' of 1642 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). It is much smaller than the original. It is interesting because it records the original before it was cut down on all sides, presumably in 1715, when it was moved from the room in the Kloveniersdoelen for which it was painted to the town hall in Amsterdam.

In the foreground are the company's captain, Frans Banning Cocq (in black), and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch. Behind them the company's colours are carried by the ensign, Jan Visscher Cornelisen.

The attribution to Lundens is confirmed by comparison with three signed and dated miniature portraits of 1650 by the artist (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). It is likely that the commission came from Banning Cocq because a watercolour copy that the captain had made for his family album (Amsterdam, on loan to the Rijksmuseum) was based on the Lundens copy rather than on the original by Rembrandt.

Key facts

Artist dates
1622 - 1683?
Full title
The Company of Captain Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch ('The Nightwatch')
Date made
after 1642
Medium and support
Oil on oak
66.8 x 85.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by the Revd Thomas Halford, 1857
Inventory number
Location in Gallery