This is one of Andrea Solario’s best-known works. Solari combined the influence of Leonardo with elements of the Lombard tradition, Venetian painting and ancient and contemporary sculpture.
Echoes of Venetian culture are evident in the landscape and the rich palette of this painting. The more naturalistic episodes of the composition are of Lombard origin with an influence of Flemish art: they appear in the donkey browsing the grass and the splendid still life at the bottom which depicts the pilgrim’s staff, bag and flask. Leonardo’s influence appears in the profile and in the torsion of the bust of the Virgin, and above all the circular interplay of looks which unites the figures creating an intimate closeness.