Until relatively recently attributed to Rembrandt, this work is now thought to be a work of an early, perhaps contemporary, follower of Rembrandt.
The artist has imitated the style of Rembrandt's early years (1625-31) when he worked in his native Leiden, a style characterised by the precise treatment of detail and stong contrasts between light and dark. Rembrandt only painted this kind of subject in his early years in Leiden. However, this painting is significantly different in composition and technique from Rembrandt's work of that period. Moreover, the draughtsmanship is considered to be too heavy-handed and the volumes too ill-defined for the painting to be by Rembrandt.
This picture was probably painted in Leiden in the late 1620s.