Rembrandt did many paintings and etchings that were formal portraits of the prominent men who commissioned them. Among them was Jan Lutma (1558-1669), a prominent Amsterdam silversmith and goldsmith.
This etching is typical of Rembrandt’s commissioned portraits in two ways: 1) Rembrandt included artifacts of the sitter’s trade. For Jan Lutma, Rembrandt has on the table a goldsmith’s hammer, a cup of punches, and a silver basin quite similar to one attributed to Lutma that is now in the Rijksmuseum. In Lutma’s hand is what appears to be a small sculpture that he produced. 2) With one exception, all of Rembrandt’s portraits have the sitter framed by light coming from the right.