Nicholas Van Bambek himself was an artist, but, as one of his friends said with regret, a rich inheritance dulled his ambition, and in the end he did not live up to expectations. However, Nicholas patronized Rembrandt, purchased from him “The Scientific Debate” and paid for posing for his portrait. Van Bambek and his friend, Secretary of the State Council, Maurits Hagens, apparently in the Hague, ordered their portraits to Rembrandt.
The friends decided: if one of them dies, his portrait must go to the survivor, and in 1641, after Bambek’s death, the picture according to the testament went
Soft diffused light favorably emphasizes his figure and the texture of the white collar and sleeves of the dress. Nevertheless, another patron of Rembrandt, the brother of Maurits Constantin Hagens, wrote at least eight verses in which he complained that the portrait had nothing to do with the original.