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The Shadow of the Master

Masters of the 17th century by people of the 21st century


The works of the world-famous Dutch Masters Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Vincent van Gogh and Mondriaan come together in a fascinating way in this grand project by artist Julius Rooymans, known for the production Night Watch360 - The Other Side of Art. The large photographic works were made possible through the special collaboration with the AFAS theatre.


Thanks to the cooperation of renowned institutes such as Museum Vrolik, 

The Rembrandt House, Allard Pierson and well-known collectors and antique dealers, numerous historical and original objects such as crockery, weapons and decors can be seen in the photographic works.


Aided by the expertise and unbridled dedication of professionals such as master make-up artist Arjen van der Grijn, costume designer Catherine Cuykens, art historian Marieke de Winkel, jewelry, hairpieces and clothing have been made historically accurate down to the smallest detail. 

Technique and extras from the 21st century bring the works of art from the 17th and 19th centuries further to life.

Artwork by Julius Rooymans waar een 17e eeuwse chirurgijn is afgebeeld die naar het boek van Julius Rooymans wijst.

Jan Toussaint

"Zo ongelooflijk mooi om zo’n prachtig project op weer een andere manier het licht te zien kiezen, met het het verhaal van je vader, het vertellen, in een mooie ambiance; mijn complimenten voor dit vakmanschap in meerdere opzichten”
Nachtwacht360 by Julius Rooymans

The Nightwatch360 - The Other Side of Art

Julius Rooymans worked in collaboration with Hans Ubbink and other experts from the Netherlands and abroad on the precise photographic reconstruction of Rembrandt's painting from 1642. The masterpiece was recreated in its original format, including the parts cut off in 1715. (4.2 by 5.36 meters)

For the project look-a-likes, which were to resemble their predecessors in paint so much that they can pass for them, were scouted through out the country. Subsequently, costumes, hats, shoes and other attributes in the original painting were reproduced as realistic and authentic as possible. Authentic seventeenth-century armour, weapons and helmets from collections of private collectors in the Netherlands were used. Objects that no longer exist or came from Rembrandt imagination were specially designed for this project, using both traditional seventeenth-century and contemporary techniques.

The background in the painting is composed of elements from historic Amsterdam and Leiden. For example, the fence which the powder boy holds (left in the image) was photographed in Leiden. It is located between Rembrandt’s birth house in the Weddesteeg and his first atelier at the Kort Galgewater, Leiden being the birth town of Rembrandt. Most of the wall is composed from photo’s taken from the Nieuwe Kerk and the Palace on the Dam in Amsterdam where he worked and lived.

Other projects

'In 2023, you will see as much image every day as someone in the Golden Age saw in their entire life'


It is an illusion to think that a photo can represent objective reality. Every photographer manipulates the photos he takes to a greater or lesser extent. Every photographer deliberately selects what he wants to capture. In that sense he frames and creates his own scene by showing certain elements and not others. In this way he manipulates the reality that photography used to presents the truth.


Traditional photography, which we have always trusted, has therefore never been “true”.

The question arises where the boundary lies between acceptable and unacceptable forms of image manipulation?


The basic photo is not a representation of reality, but shows the story of the maker.

If photography cannot show reality, but only the hand of the master, then it is deprived of its status as an objective medium. It is reminiscent of painting, which has been declared dead several times since the emergence of photography (and has never disappeared). It seemed to have become superfluous as an eye on the world, because it 'only' had to offer the subjective view of the artist.


With the advent of cameras available to everyone, the whole world has turned into a collection of potential photos. We no longer experience the world, but constantly analyze whether it should be recorded.

The camera stands between ourselves and the world. We no longer have experiences, we take pictures.


The inability of this medium to objectively represent reality elevates photography to an art form.


On Saturday February 18, March 11 and  April 29 we host an event for the art project The Shadow of the Master in the beautiful AFAS Theatre Leusden. Come and see the Anatomical Theater of 22 meters wide! 


Artist Julius Rooymans talks about the works and together we watch the'making of' film of the project in the Rembrandtzaal. The theater is normally not freely accessible to view the artworks and AFAS Software has made a meeting possible these Saturday afternoons.

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