The couple would be the parents of the younger man kneeling before them.  His wife, their daughter-in-law, would be one of the two women standing in attendance, waiting for orders.

Although by Song times people regularly sat on chairs or stools, Ma Hezhi was attempting to portray life at the time of Confucius and Mencius, the period of the Classic of Filial Piety.  Although Ma Hezhi could not help introduce anachronisms, such as the landscape painting on the screen or the clothing of all those present, his goal was to produce a picture evoking the classical age.