Three naked women with children and four fighting men are set against a grassy foreground and a thick frieze of foliage, extending on the left almost to the top of the picture. The central and right-hand parts of the hedge are lower, revealing a landscape background of tall mountains with distant buildings in the centre and on the far right. The men form two pairs: on the left a man holding a still leafy wooden stake lies on the ground with blood streaming down his back, his mouth open in pain; he is being beaten by a standing bearded man with a long stick. On the right lies a bearded man who has evidently just been beaten to the ground by the white-bearded man standing over him, who holds a long leafy stick. In the foreground, on the left, a woman turns open-mouthed to look at the scene, herself holding a stick with the sharper end upwards, as if to defend herself or one of the men. Another woman, standing centrally and clasping the wrists of two babies, appears to be speaking to her. In the right-hand corner of the picture, apparently oblivious to the fighting behind her, a woman reclines in the grass with her baby; it looks up at her over her shoulder, while the baby behind reaches down as if to grab its hair or pluck some grass.
[Susan Foister, `Lucas Cranach the Elder, Primitive People¿ published online 2015, from 'The German Paintings before 1800' London, forthcoming.]