'... as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and break, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.' (Luke 24.30-31).
Having risen from the grave on the third day after his death, Christ appears to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Yet they do not recognise him until they share their meal with him. It is this moment of recognition that Rembrandt depicts and he does so in an unusually loose and sketch-like style. It is this swiftness of line and the seemingly unfinished character of the etching which so dramatically conveys the ephemeral nature of scene, as Christ is about to disappear.
Although Rembrandt printed several impressions of the first state, he did not consider the plate finished, as parts of the composition had failed to bite properly. He remedied these flaws in the present second state with extensive drypoint work. The third, final state is posthumous. The fine, early impression offered here compares favourably with the Salting impression in the British Museum, printing slightly more richly and with more burr.