The Madonna is seated on a throne surrounded by a flowery meadow, an allusion to the hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden as a symbol of virginal purity.
Together with Jacopo Bellini, Antonio Vivarini was one of the leaders of the renewal of Venetian painting in the mid-fifteenth century.
He worked with his brother in law Giovanni d’Alemagna; this painting, probably forming part of a larger complex which can be dated to 1449-1450, is one of the finest fruits of their collaboration. Here we see late Gothic and Renaissance elements harmoniously combined. The throne has a firm architectural structure despite the lightness of the Gothic tracery. The body of Jesus has a sculptural quality, derived from the works by Donatello.