This work and Saint Luke painting the Virgin and Child are the outer and inner faces of the right shutter of an altarpiece. No other elements of this altarpiece are known but the central panel probably showed the Virgin and Child enthroned, as in Saint Luke’s picture. The lost left outer face probably represented a full-length figure of Christ.
The Virgin stands in a niche weeping and folding her hands in prayer. She is similar to the various half-length Virgins from the Massys workshop who are often paired with images of Christ.