The Book of Revelation (12:1–9,14) describes the apparition of the Virgin Mary as a radiant figure with the moon under her feet. Threatened by the seven-headed dragon, she and her child are carried away to the wilderness by God. The subject can be seen in relation to the Counter-Reformation. The Virgin Mary steps on a serpent, the symbol of heresy. Biblical exegesis interprets the apocalyptical female figure as an allegory of the church protected by God. In 1623, the painting was commissioned for the high altar of the Cathedral of St. Mary in Freising that can be seen at the bottom on the right.