The mother is looking anxiously at the listless child in her lap. A bowl of porridge is standing on the cabinet nearby. It is a touching scene, executed in a bright palette. The theme may be Caritas, or Christian charity. If so, the small painting depicting the Crucifiction would be a reference to the love of Christ. But whether this was Metsu's intention is difficult to say.
From the collection of Goll van Frankenstein (Amsterdam), Steengracht (The Hague) and O. Huldschinsky (Berlin), among others. Purchased in 1928, with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt.