This print appears to be less than half complete; the foreground of the composition is only loosely sketched in drypoint, while the background has been more heavily worked. The surviving copper plate verifies that the composition was never developed beyond this stage. It has been suggested that Rembrandt died before he managed to finish the etching, or that he deliberately left it unfinished as a means of illustrating his technique for the instruction of his pupils. The print shows an artist drawing in his workshop. The subject and the incomplete state of the print come together to present an allegory of art and a celebration of the act of rendering.