Is Rembrandt’s painting, De Nachtwacht, actually of a group of cricket supporters preparing to stay up all night to watch an Ashes Test from Down Under?
The gestures of the main subjects – so wonderfully lit by the artist with his special ability to represent movement in a static image – do suggest a lively discussion is taking place about team selection, batting order, bowling changes, field placings and the wisdom of batting first on an overcast morning at the Gabba.
Third Man persuaded the authorities at the Rijksmuseum to x-ray the bottom left of the painting – an area where many of the subjects’ attentions seem focused, but which was removed in 1715, allegedly to make the huge original work fit into Amsterdam’s Town Hall.
Published here for the first time are the results of that investigation…
Yes … it must be 0000 GMT, 25th November.
TM would like to know how these fanatics kept going through the night. At his last attempt at an all-nighter he only made it to the publication of the exit poll – the equivalent of going to bed after the first delivery – which of course was a wise move in 2006.