The painting depicts the baptism of Christ in the foreground on the right. St John kneels behind Christ on the bank. The scene is linked to the representation of a group of nobility and important reformers.
The woman in regal dress is Margarete of Brandenburg and she turns to her brother Johann of Küstrin. Her husband Johann IV of Anhalt is depicted on the left edge in the foreground. His brother Georg (with a book in his hand) and Joachim stand beside him. Georg is flanked by Luther and Melanchthon. The head of Lucas Cranach the Elder appears between Johann of Anhalt and Luther. The townscape in the background shows Dessau, which is identified by the castle and the Marienkirche.
[see Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 224-225, IV.33]