The Mother of God and the Christ Child are in the company of John the Baptist and his mother, Elizabeth. This devotional painting radiates quietude of a virtually sublime character. The pictorial type known as ‘sacra conversazione’ (sacred conversation) was extremely popular. Successful artists like Bellini produced several versions of it, combining figures based on standardised models. This explains why Elizabeth and John cannot see the Infant Jesus, but only Mary’s back. The painting undoubtedly owes its aura in good part to the brilliant blue produced from the precious lapis lazuli.