This scene is painted on the reverse side of Dürer's Madonna and Child. The
story of Lot and his daughters comes from the nineteenth chapter of the Book of
Genesis. In the foreground, Lot and his two children are portrayed fleeing from
the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which erupt in blinding explosions of fire
in the background. Lot's wife is visible on the path at the upper left in the middle
distance. She has been turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying the divine command
by looking back on the scene of retribution.
This scene was important for the moral lesson it taught. Like the story of Noah
and the flood, that of Lot and the desolation of Sodom and Gomorrah was an allegory
demonstrating the power of God to save the righteous.
Since the combination of the story of Lot with the depiction of the Virgin and Child
is extremely unusual, the exact relation of the two images remains unclear. However,
they could be understood as two examples of the value of a just life and of the
pervasive grace of God, especially if the Madonna and Child on the obverse was
intended as a private devotional image.