This vibrant image of a meditative hermit comes from the hand of Hendrick Heerschop, a Haarlem artist who responded to the work of Rembrandt during this early phase in his career, before moving on to a smoother style and an emphasis on genre subjects. He produced a few prints that clearly show the impact of Rembrandt’s model, and here he takes up Rembrandt’s energetic and free use of line and his emphasis on texture, in the medium of etching, championed by Rembrandt. The subject matter, a hermit, appears in Rembrandt’s earlier work, including a painting now lost but disseminated in an etching by Jan Gillisz. van Vliet. Rembrandt’s early pupil Gerrit Dou took up this theme in his work, and may have in turn given impulse to Heerschop.Heerschop’s Hermit is less ascetic than meditative. A parasol shields him from the sun’s rays (making the aspect of self-denial less than complete), and he has a cleanly worked staff and a calabash with drink, to accompany him on his retreat. The title on the open page is legible as “Wereld”, or “world”, a literal and direct reference to the pious escape from worldliness that the hermit is demonstrating.