This painting displays the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, in whose Milanese studio Boltraffio was working by 1491. Among the decorative motifs picked out in gold on the cloth of honour are the inscriptions 'AVE' and 'MA
RIA' (Hail Mary). Both the Virgin and the Christ Child poised to suckle at her breast look down, suggesting that the painting may be a fragment of an altarpiece which hung quite high up.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN