This picture introduces us to a busy moment in the Holy Family's everyday life.
It is evening, the time of the evening meal, and the bathing of the Infant.
Underneath a thatched building without walls on the sides, the Virgin is seated on an ornate brocade mattress.
At her head an angel is arranging her pillow, whereas on her right two shepherds watch humbly but inquisitively how the family arrangements are proceeding.
The Virgin - quite unusually - is not in charge of the situation: although she would like to feed Jesus, He flees to Joseph, to escape dinner.
He trails a diaper behind Him and looks back at His mother to see the effect of His action.
Old Joseph, who looks like Santa Claus, with a white beard and dressed in red, is sitting at his work-bench.
He is holding flowers in both hands to lure Jesus to him.
There is a hustle and bustle in the whole scene.
The dilapidated thatching is being repaired by two angels.
Three other angels are singing beside a gorgeous golden fountain in the bottom left corner, while two more angels are carrying water from there to the bath-tub, which, to quote Panofsky, "is enclosed by one of the earliest and most elegant shower-curtains in history".
Beside it a woman is also busy preparing the water for the bath.
Some of the charming details which emanate a warm atmosphere have a symbolic meaning too.
The motif of repairing the roof refers to the fact that the institution of the Church needs perpetual repair.
The lovely golden fountain symbolizes the Fountain of Life in Paradise.