Mary and Joseph watch over the Christ Child lying in the manger, while shepherds look in through the stable openings. The character of the figures, the stable architecture and general setting, relate to a well-known composition of the Nativity by Rogier van der Weyden (now in the Gemaldegalerie, Berlin). The prominent sheaf of grain may refer to Christ?s birth place, Bethlehem (meaning `House of Bread?), and also to bread?s symbolic role as the body of Christ in the Christian sacrament of the Mass. The panel was probably painted as an altarpiece in the late fifteenth century.