This painting is the result of a collaboration between Jan Brueghel the Elder, who painted the garland, and an unknown artist from the circle of Peter Paul Rubens, responsible for the figures. Brueghel earned the nicknames Flower Breughel because of his floral still lifes and Velvet Breughel for his refined brushwork.
Brueghel’s flower garlands were highly prized by collectors in the 1600s. The beautifully painted flowers signify the preciousness of the Holy Family’s sacred image. Flowers—especially lilies, irises, and roses—symbolize the Virgin’s purity and divinity.