Painted in Rome, this tondo (circular painting) of the Virgin and Child employs a rare motif of flanking candelabra that was derived from representations of ancient Roman emperors. Through this reference to the rulers of antiquity, Raphael alludes to Christ's and Mary's roles as the king and queen of Heaven. Raphael was famed for his graceful style. which combined the study of classical sculpture and nature. The chiaroscuro effects (modeling in light and shade) and gentle coloring give the figures a soft, delicate appearance. The painting relies heavily on the participation of Raphael's workshop, and the two angels certainly were done by his assistants. This was the first Madonna painted by Raphael to enter a North American collection. For more information on this tondo, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 232, pp. 348-354.