The Christ Child leans over to study a scroll held by the elderly St Jerome, on which Lotto has playfully signed his name (in its Latin form: LOTVS). The stiffness of the child's pose is echoed in the angular folds of Mary's draperies. She acknowledges St Francis with her raised hand. A cloth of honour stretches across the painting separating the foreground group (which also includes St Peter and a female saint) from the landscape behind. The woodcutters felling a tree allude to the wood of the cross and therefore to Christ's Passion. This is an early work, painted by Lotto in about 1505.