Until this point Rembrandt had used drypoint very rarely in his portraits, in most cases confining it to the delineation of fur. In this print, however, he experimented with its tonal effects, using it extensively to darken the background initially laid down in etching. With delicate strokes he touched up the features of the face and hair, and this particularly fine impression is notable for its silvery, ethereal quality. Although attempts have been made to identify the sitter it is most probably a genre study, using the same model as The card player (B. 136) of the same year.
Reproduced actual size