The composition is an adaptation of a design by Joos van Cleve known in several versions, of which the prototype is the Holy Family of c.1517-20 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Friedsam Collection). The figures of the Virgin and Child in Joos's composition are taken from Van Eyck's Lucca Madonna (Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Institut), but are developed here in various ways, most noticeably the motif of the Christ Child reaching up to kiss His mother. There are two other related compositions of the subject by Joos, the prototypes of which are the paintings of c.1520-25 in the National Gallery, London, and c.1525 in the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire; the present figure of Joseph is an adaptation of elements of the corresponding figure in those two paintings - the bespectacled motif of the former with the rolled down scroll of the latter.
The motif of the Christ Child kissing the Virgin recalls a type from the work of Barent van Orley, for example in the Virgin and Child with a Throne Structure in the Prado, Madrid, or the Virgin and Child listed by Friedländer in three versions (Early Netherlandish Painting, VIII, Leiden and Brussels, 1972, nos. 136 and 136a-b). Given their mutual dependence on Van Orley, it is interesting also to note the closeness of the Virgin's costume and facial type with figures in the oeuvre grouped together as the Master of the Female Half-Lengths, active in Antwerp at the same time as Joos, and one might hesitantly on that basis put forward that disparate workshop as a possible source for the present panel.