This spectacular, unpublished work, with its references to the styles of Jan Sanders van Hemessen and Pieter Aertsen, appears to be by an artist not far distant from the Brunswick Monogrammist, who was active in Antwerp c. 1535. Most comparable would appear to be the The Parable of the Great Supper (Matthew XXII, 5-14) in the Musée Bargoin at Clermont-Ferrand, of which a version was sold at Christie's, 29 November 1963, lot 36, and is now in the Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, which has been attributed to Aertsen (see Keith P.F. Mosey, The 'Humanist' Market Scenes of Joachim Beuckelaer, etc., Jaarboek van het Koninklÿÿk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, 1976, pp. 161-162, fig. 45). This attribution was rejected by Marie-Laure de Contenson-Hallopeau when publishing the Musée Bargoin picture as the work of the Master of the Prodigal Son, active in Antwerp c. 1545 (see her article La Parabole du Festin par 'Le Maître du fils Prodigue', Le Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, 1982, pp. 273-7), with which attribution R. Genaille agreed (see his article Martyres et paraboles etc., Jaarboek van het Koninklÿÿk Museum voor schone Kunsten Antwerpen, 1984, p. 157). However, an element of doubt must obtain concerning the attribution of the present work, because the master's oeuvre as at present constituted is not homogeneous; this is also the case with that of the Brunswick Monogrammist.
The subject is very rarely depicted. It is treated here - like the Parable of the Great Supper - in episodic fashion, following the account given by Mark and Luke, in which the sufferer is let down through the roof on the left where he is healed by Christ, and is then shown in the middle distance having been told by Christ: 'Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.' A picture showing the healed man returning to his house, not unlike this motif in the present work, is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; formerly attributed to Jan Sanders van Hemessen, it is now described as the work of an anonymous, Netherlandish sixteenth-century artist.