Bank pays for costumed flashmob to recreate Rembrandt's Nightwatch in a mall

I'm not normally a fan of corporate commercials designed to be "viral media," but one's very clever. The Dutch financial giant (and money launderer for Iran) ING paid to have a group of actors play out a dramatic reenactment of the events depicted in Rembrandt's classic painting The Night Watch, climaxing with a posed, framed tableau that re-created the painting itself. It's awfully fun to watch Rembrandtian cosplayers charge around a Dutch shopping mall while the shoppers stand agog.

Flashmob brengt 'De nachtwacht' tot leven (via Making Light)


    1. I swear that I remember seeing Dawn French recreating Ingres’s Odalisque, but I can’t find it.

  1. Flashmob or smart mob?

    Wikipedia says:
    A flash mob (or flashmob)
    is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform
    an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly
    disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic
    expression. Flash mobs are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.

    The term, coined in 2003, is generally not applied to events and
    performances organized for the purposes of politics (such as protests), commercial advertisement, publicity stunts that involve public relation firms, or paid professionals.In these cases of a planned purpose for the social activity in question, the term smart mobs is often applied instead.

  2. Check out Peter Greenaway’s documentary Rembrandt’s J’Accuse for mysteries about this painting. Also, his Nightwatching.

  3. um….

    why would they put Beethoven in this video?

    That music was written about 200 years after Rembrandt’s time.

    It would be like using dubstep to commemorate Dickens. Doesn’t fit.

        1. King Crimson’s “The Night Watch” from their Starless and Bible Black album is on topic but not suitable: it’s reflective, the back stories of the kind of people who might have sat for the picture, and not an action soundtrack.

    1. yes, and the shopping mall appeared how many hundreds of years after that? One has nothing to do with the other. It’s called “artistic license” they do it all the time in soundtracks…same principle.

  4. The term, coined in 2003, is generally not applied to events and performances organized for the purposes of politics (such as protests), commercial advertisement, 

    1. Yes, that’s it. Also, “The Private Life of a Masterpiece” produced for the BBC did an episode on the Night Watch with a live recreation of the painting – which I think may have been a regular tradition. “The Private Life of a Masterpiece” is a great series as well, if you can find it.

  5. I think you meant, “Bank pays costumed flashmob to promote opening of Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.” Then again, I’d be more inclined to believe the opening stunt was co-ordinated by the Museum itself and the IGN on the signs is just a by-product of them being a Museum sponsor. It’s a subtle difference.

  6. SCUMБАG AMERICAN: calls Dutch bank money launderer, bombs entire countries to pieces for nothing/oil…

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