Rembrandt van Rijn is considered one of the most important Dutch masters of the 17th century. In addition to an extensive oeuvre of paintings and drawings, he produced some 290 etchings. Because of his casual lines and the total command of dry needle technique, he gained fame throughout Europe during his lifetime. Rembrandt's original etching plates were traded after his death. This led to minor changes in the plate, which are listed with the designation 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th state.