This delicately modeled Madonna and Child displays a type of hushed beauty lost with the advent of the High Renaissance style in Italy. Once artists began using one-point perspective to present landscapes, architecture, and figures in three well-rounded dimensions, painting became a window on the physical world rather than merely the spiritual one.
In an effort to "open up" the scene, the artist from Paolo Uccello's workshop placed a landscape behind the Virgin and Christ. Instead of trying to show depth, however, the countryside simply forms a pattern of almost abstract trees and zigzags. The resulting design has a flatness and regularity that subtly enlivens the picture and complements the elusive three-dimensionality of the figure group.
An earlier owner of this painting partly rubbed off the Madonna's bronze halo during a cleaning, perhaps assuming that there would be gold underneath.