Conceived as an intimate, celestial vision and presumably intended for private devotional use, this painting reflects the mystical tendencies that were an important feature of Counter- Reformation thought and art.

Excellently preserved, it is painted using a combination of short, textured brushstrokes and liquid, almost transparent glazes. Its style falls midway between the polished, metallic finish and acid colours of the artist's larger, more formal works and the scintillating freedom of his oil-sketches. While his pictures are typically imposing, highly animated, and emotionally charged, this delicate Madonna shows the artist at his most moving and most subtle. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.

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