Van den Eeckhout was one of Rembrandt’s most successful pupils. This drawing belongs to a group of related studies—some of the most outstanding figure drawings produced in seventeenth-century Holland—characterized by a contemplative mood and an economical rendering. The bearded figure was executed almost entirely with a brush and brown wash applied in broad, energetic strokes. The artist seems to have been particularly interested in describing the stark interplay of light and shade, exemplified by the man’s face. Although the figure was probably not observed from life, he has an intense, brooding presence.