Lieutenant Ruytenburgh’s Glance

on Rembrandt’s The Shooting Company of Captain
Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Ruytenburgh

aka. The Night Watch

You bombastic lout.

You ignorant peacock,
with your “Let me tell you this”
and “I think”s and “To the contrary”s.

You think you’re beloved
as you pontificate,
leading the mob
along the Amstel

But they are simply jackals
like your own dog hoping for the fox,
jumping at the scraps you drop.

They love you not.

You will say the wrong thing
or give the wrong glance
or use the wrong whore,
and the next day
court will silence when you enter,
and you will finally know
what a little man you are.

I shall,
at your fall,
become the captain.

But I?
shall shoot


This painting has always fascinated me. There is so much odd in it.

For example: did you notice the blazingly bright dwarf lady — I know, little person, sorry — who looks like Banana Grandma? She is just to the left of Cocq. Where is that light coming from? She’s got to be important, right?

Anyway, I’ve been fascinated with this painting for a while. But recently I say this documentary (with acting) called Rembrandt’s J’Acusse. If you like art or mystery or intellectual documentaries, this movie is toto boffo. I highly recommend it. Plus, you can Netflix it.