The British Museum possesses two preparatory works in chalk and wash for this portrait of a Mennonite preacher. The more broadly handled of the two was used to transfer the image to the etching plate using the same procedure as that employed for Diana at the Bath (see lot 235).
The nail in the wall may be for the frame which has been taken down and appears lower left. This has been interpreted as a comment on the theological argument, held by the Mennonites, that the word must rule over the image. Alternatively it may simply be a visual pun on the Dutch word 'spijker' which means both 'nail' and 'warehouse', which was the name given to the building where Anslo's congregation met.