There is an interesting article in today's edition of the New York Times that discusses the downside of Rembrandt's career during hard economic times in the Dutch Republic. As the writer of this article mentioned, it's interesting to examine these paintings right now, since we are also in the midst of an economic crisis.
This is a reproduction of Rembrandt's Woman with a Pink (early 1660s) that is discussed near the end of the article. I particularly enjoyed the writer's thoughts regarding this painting. I also didn't know that X-rays indicate that a child was originally included in the composition, but then painted out. This painting is one of the writer's favorite works at the Met, and I can see why. It's quite stunning.