The Mill, Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch), ~1645, oil on canvas.  Nineteenth-century connoisseurs considered this painting to be one of the master’s greatest creations, due to its deft use of light and silhouette and its dark and foreboding palette, until the aging and discolored varnish was removed during a restoration and the bright beauty of the blue sky was revealed. Although it is possible that Rembrandt based this scene on his father’s mill on the ramparts of Leiden, he imaginatively conceived the scene to symbolically portray the mill as a guardian, protecting the land and its people.