There are two states of this early print. The precise way it is rendered suggests that Rembrandt, seated opposite his mother, etched directly onto the plate. He modelled the face with a profusion of fine lines, evoking the feeling of wrinkled skin, and the shadow the headdress casts is etched with meticulous care. In the first state - of which only two impressions are known - the face is where one would expect it to be in a portrait bust, towards the upper edge of the picture space. However, he was clearly dissatisfied with the result, and proceeded, rather surprisingly, to cut the plate down with the result that his mother's chin rested on the lower platemark. Whatever the reasons for this decision the resulting image was clearly in demand and it was printed in at least two editions. An important feature of Rembrandt collecting has always been that the strange and unusual in his oeuvre is keenly sought after.