The painting was donated by the Welser family for an altar in the Dominican church in Augsburg. This scene, which can be interpreted as an allegory of the dichotomy between vita activa and vita contemplativa, depicts Christ’s visit to Mary and Martha as described in the New Testament. His gesture shows that he is instructing Mary, who is listening attentively. Martha, who is looking after the guests, pushes herself into the centre of the picture. She laments her sister’s idleness. Jesus replies, as written in St Luke’s Gospel: “Mary hath chosen that good part”.