work:
The Night Watch
artist:
Rembrandt Van Rijn
location:
Rijks Museum; Amsterdam, Netherlands
date:
1911 1975 1990

This painting has the dubious honour of being attacked no less than three times during the last century. Though the two most recent attacks are fairly well documented, online resources are scarce and conflicting about the first attack which took place during 1911.

A short article in Maxim titled "Crimes of the Art" simply claims that during World War One a shoemaker attacked the painting[1] Another short article by Butch Bridges on the painting offers a little more information on the attack: "On January 13, 1911 in Rotterdam, a disgruntled navy cook, angered by his discharge from the service, went into the Rijiks Museum and badly slashed the masterpiece with a knife. The man's name was Sigrist, and he said he vandalized the painting as an act of vengence against the state for discharging him."[2] Since the Rijks Museum is actually in Amsterdam and not Rotterdam as the article purports, and there is no quoted source the veracity of the story is doubtful.

The second and worst attack occurred In September 1975 where an unemployed teacher took to the painting with a bread knife which left strips of the canvas on the floor.

Subsequently repaired after each event and put back on show, an escaped mental patient sprayed sulphuric acid on it in 1990. Due to the swift action of the guards, only the varnish was affected. It is suspected the same man responsible for the 1990 attack, gained entry to the Stedelijk Museum and took a knife to Picasso's 1956 painting "Nude Before a Garden".

[1] Crimes of the Art
Andrew Vontz, Maxim, October 2001

[2] The Night Watch
Butch Bridges
A curious article on the painting which describes the 1911 attack but is of dubious authenticity

Amsterdam's Picasso knifeman could be serial vandal
Emma Muller AMSTERDAM, May 17 (Reuters)