Hugo van der Goes executed the central panel depicting the Virgin and Child in the late 1470s. Some ten years later, Willem van Overbeke and his wife commissioned an unknown artist to expand it into a small, winged altarpiece. The resulting double frame of the central section is a highly unusual feature. An influential member of the Burgundian administration in Mechlin, Van Overbeke had been admitted to the Bourbon dynastic order. This association is alluded to by the belts accompanying the two escutcheons and the motto ‘en esperance’ (‘in hope’).