The Virgin and Child with the young Saint John the Baptist was a common subject from the 15th century onwards. John the Baptist is identified by his camel skin and reed cross. The kneeling woman has often been identified as Saint Catherine but she is shown without her usual attribute of the wheel on which she was tortured. Shepherds can be seen in the background; they - and the angel in the sky - might allude to the Annunciation to the Shepherds (New Testament, Luke 2: 8-17).
In the 19th century this painting was said to have been signed and dated 1533.