Rembrandt was not the only artist commissioned to make a portrait print of Ephraim Hezekiah Bueno (1599-1665), a prominent physician in Amsterdam. A few years after the creation of this print, Bueno commissioned Rembrandt's former workshop-colleague and collaborator Jan Lievens (1607-1674), to create another portrait etching. The comparison of the two portraits is revealing and demonstrates the full extent of Rembrandt's mastery. While Lieven's portrait in pure etching is perfectly competent - the sitter is placed in a chair next to a column and looks intently at the viewer - it is ultimately conventional and impersonal.
Rembrandt on the other hand applied the full register of technical means, etching, drypoint and engraving, to create both spatial and psychological depth. Bueno emerges from the rich gloom of his house, seemingly pausing at the bottom of the stairs as if in a moment of deep reflection. His eyes, rather then meeting the glance of the viewer or 'visitor', look out over their shoulders; Bonus appears momentarily distracted, lost in thought and oblivious to the outside world.
Although the setting and pose alludes to his wealth and dignity, Rembrandt depicts Bueno in a very private moment of contemplation, making this a far more searching, intimate and lively depiction than the confident but rather formal portrayal by Lievens.