WRITTEN IN THE YEARS, when young Rembrandt only made a name for himself while living in Leiden. The picture is very small and completely finished – one of many examples of how the work was done for a legible local customer. The depicted old men were called both scholars and philosophers – a very likely interpretation, given the scattered manuscripts.
According to another version, quite popular lately, the apostles Peter and Paul are arguing. Other artists would emphasize this by adding attributes such as, for example, the keys to Paradise in St.. Peter, but Rembrandt tried to avoid scenes that
If this version is correct, sv. Paul explains the Scripture passage by placing a finger on a book held by Sts. Peter. This does not contradict the facts about the well-known controversy over how Christianity should be preached to the pagans – a controversy that convincingly won over St. Paul.