The Städel Museum has in its holdings one of Rembrandt’s studies “after life” – this pen and ink drawing. The choice of motif, however, adheres to pictorial tradition: depictions of the slaughter are encountered rather frequently in the Dutch painting of the period, as genre scenes but sometimes also as a hidden allusion to the Passion of Christ. Here, Rembrandt evidently observed the butchers directly as they were going about their work. He drew rapidly, alternating between fine and bold strokes of the pen to characterize the toilsome labour by way of the poses, the suggestion of movement, and the expressive physiognomies. He spontaneously joined the two studies in a composition, and made a written note of an observation on the sheet as well.