Emerging from behind an overgrown bank, this elderly beggar couple seem to be deep in a slightly cranky conversation. The man appears to be talking loudly, with his mouth wide open, perhaps because they are both hard of hearing. Although integrated well into the composition, the little bluff at left may be covering up another earlier image, which Rembrandt had begun to etch onto the plate. New Hollstein records nine lifetime states of this print. It is therefore surprising how rarely it comes to the market, in particular in very fine, early impressions such as the present sheet, printed with distinct, irregularly wiped tone.
The British Museum holds one impression of the first state and one of the third, as well as examples of later states. The present second state-impression is stronger, clearer and more tonal than their two early states.