This here is an Official Postcrossing postcard from the Netherlands! This is a work by the artist Rembrandt, titled “The Night Watch”. Rembrandt – full name Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (I never knew that “Rembrandt” was part of his first name) – was a Dutch painter who was around during the 1600s. Considered one of the greatest artists in Dutch history, he exhibited quite a bit of variety in his styles and the types of things he painted about, to include landscapes, self-portraits, and historical scenes. This one here, which I said was titled “The Night Watch”, was actually originally “Officers and Men of the Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Wilhelm van Ruytenburgh”. It was later given the name “The Night Watch” some time after Rembrandt’s death. “Hey guys, do you think Rembrandt’s ancestors will notice if we shorten the title by 13 words?!” Fun fact: the setting of the painting is not actually at night! After the inevitable aging, accumulation of dirt/dust and application of many layers of varnish, this painting became significantly darker. Also, this darkening of the image gives Rembrandt the misrepresentation that his color palette was dull, when in fact that was not the case. He was, however, one of the painters who developed chiaroscuro, which is a Renaissance term for the use of light and darkness in contrast. That’s something that’s pretty evident here, varnish-covered or not. Today “The Night Watch” can be found in the Rijksmuseum, which houses many historical Dutch works of art. It can also now be found in the APFY postcard collection, thanks to Marian who sent me this card!