In A Naughty Boy, a mother struggles to control her unruly child while an older woman admonishes him and two of his cohorts look on gleefully from behind the door. As the screaming child wriggles in its mother's arms his right shoe is released into mid-air like the falling knife in Rembrandt's Sacrifice of Isaac.
Although the drawing undoubtedly possesses the rawness and immediacy of a study from life, reason dictates that this cannot be so. The poses are too unstable to be held, and the composition - with its carefully arranged figures and rhythmically distributed washes - too artful for that. Rather it is yet another example of Rembrandt's seemingly miraculous ability to counterfeit nature.