The Enigma of the Father, the Son & the Ghoulish Host
The medieval night scene shows an older man holding up a five-candle candelabra to light a scene where a mysterious figure stands between him and a young boy. Behind the older man, the father, stands a light-clad woman who with intimate gestures offers him grapes while he is drinking wine from tin cup.
At the opposite end of the table, the son is holding a single candle while raising his hand in a gesture that can either be interpreted as swearing an oath, giving a promise or signaling a refusal.
Between them stands a faceless man who holds out a key to the father while he beckons to the son. The opening in his robe reveals a staircase. In his right hand is a key that he holds out to the father. The key fits into the keyhole of the oak chest next to the son.
The tablecloth shows clear, biblical references of fish and bread loaves on one side, and teeth and eyes on the other. The father has a sumptuous plate of fruits in front of him, while the table in front of the boy is empty.
In the background is a red drapery, drawn to show a window with stars beyond it, suggesting freedom. Behind the faceless figure are three torches. In the kitchen behind the boy are three copper vessels on the wall and three ceramic pots on the stove.