This painting is one of the earliest works by the great Florentine Mannerist artist. His inimitable style can be recognised not only in the rapid painting method and the preliminary markings of the composition, which have intentionally been left visible. It is also revealed in the undisguised use of a pagan reference from antiquity for a religious subject. Modelled on Hellenistic representations of Venus, Rosso Fiorentino's portrayal of the Virgin Mary, with her close-fitting robe following the outline of every detail of her body, was doubtless shocking to many of his contemporaries. The two children are reminiscent of Amor and the youthful Bacchus.