No Renaissance painting would be complete without its symbol. The Infant Jesus is still sitting on his mother's lap and gazing calmly at the viewer, but the little bird perched on his fingers already points forward to the inescapable course of history. It is a goldfinch, a symbol of the Passion of Christ. A white lily symbolising the purity of the Virgin Mary is held above the child's head by an angel. According to Christian doctrine, this is why the child was free from original sin - as the way the angel is gazing at him makes clear. This portrait of the Madonna is thought to have been the work of the Italian Renaissance painter Cavazzola.