The infant Jesus embraces his mother with his left arm while tenderly grasping at the ruff of her shirt with his right hand. This intimate painting is characteristic of Morales, who was heavily influenced by the works of Italian painters like Leonardo da Vinci, particularly in the careful modeling of flesh tones with deeply-set shadows. Numerous autograph versions of this composition exist, each retaining the same basic format but with subtle differences in the hands and heads. Here the Virgin gazes directly upon the viewer, while in later examples she is frequently more contemplative and downward-looking.
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