This painting is one of the masterpieces of the Nelson-Atkins collection. The realism of the meticulously rendered domestic, rather than religious interior, with its closely observed details—such as the chandelier and canopy bed—is typical of the Northern Renaissance. The Protestant influence in the North brought a focus on an individual's experience of God in the details of daily life, instead of through contact with priests and Church ritual. The townscape glimpsed through the windows is reminiscent of the buildings of Bruges, the artist's native city, which looks much the same today. The triangular shape created by the contours of the Virgin and Child may reflect the Italian Renaissance ideas of order, geometry and balance, an influence exchanged through trading links between Bruges and Italy.