Artists sometimes destroy in order to create. This print began life very differently. The original copper printing plate bore an etching by Hercules Seghers showing Tobias and the archangel Raphael (figures from the Catholic Bible) on their mission to restore the eyesight of Tobias’s father. About 15 years after Seghers’s death, Rembrandt got hold of the plate, and used it to create a new scene.
Seghers was one of Rembrandt’s favorite artists. Rembrandt owned several of his paintings, and Seghers owned at least one by Rembrandt.