6. What are your hidden talents?
I think I’m kind of good in drawing and cooking.
7. How would you describe Operation Night Watch in one word?
8. What’s your role on the Operation Night Watch team?
I’m responsible for the Reflectance Imaging Spectroscopy (RIS) scanning of the Night Watch. The instruments (or cameras) collect the light that is reflected from the materials (mostly pigments) that are present on the painting and allow us to identify and map them the onto the surface of the painting. RIS was performed in February and then in May/June 2020.
9. How does Operation Night Watch compare to the “usual” work you do?
I normally do this same work, but in a laboratory, that’s located in the building in front of the Rijksmuseum, the Ateliergebouw. There is a big difference in set-up: usually the cameras are sitting on a table and stay still during acquisition, while the painting, secured on a mechanical easel, smoothly moves up/down and left/right to allow the scanning. For Operation Night Watch, the cameras move while the painting stays still.
10. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the possibility of using state-of-the-art technology to reveal artists’ choices and techniques. This allows us to connect with the artists in a different way.
11. Which character, detail or aspect of The Night Watch interests you the most?
I really like the figure of Lieutenant Van Ruytenburch because of the presence of multiple pigments that Rembrandt chose to use with a very specific technique. I also very much like to look at the changes in composition that Rembrandt made (such as the height of hat or the position of a face).
12. In your opinion, what would Rembrandt think of Operation Night Watch?
It would probably be unbelievable to him to see such a team and technologies dedicated to the study of his masterpiece. And, who knows, maybe he would be excited to help us answer all the questions we have!
13. If you were given a chance to time travel, when would you go and why?
Probably to 2121 to see what our technologies will look like, and what scientists will be able to discover with them!
14. What motivates you the most?
My passion for art and my desire for learning new things.
15. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never be afraid of saying your opinion and speak up for yourself.