This particular painting was also close to destruction after fire damage from an earthquake whilst being displayed at the palace of Antonio Ruffo in Messina, Italy in 1783. Thankfully after some cropping of the outer edges and some restoration, it survived to the present day.
Rembrandt van Rijn is amongst the most researched artists in history, with a dedicated research team being set up in the 1960s and still running today. Their most notable output includes the Corpus Survey his his life's paintings, which includes Homer Dictating his Verses within it.
An original element of the painting which was one of the parts removed after fire damage was a scribe who would write down the dictations given by Homer, who was himself blind. There are still just the slightest clue to this with several fingers remaining in the lower right hand side of the picture. The light creeps across from the left hand side of the painting to bring out golden colour from Homer's coat. His elderly facial features are also accurately captured by this master of light.
This original painting remains at the Mauritshuis, an art museum in The Hague, Netherlands, though does occasionally get loaned out for related exhibitions elsewhere. This respected museum contains work by many famous names besides just Rembrandt, including Jan Steen, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael and Hans Holbein the Younger.