The altarpiece was painted for the Archbishop of Seville’s palace chapel. Rather than tell a story it presents the spectator with a vision whose glow is enhanced by the darker left-hand corner. The Virgin and Child’s tender yet troubled gestures and appearance, reflected in the cherubs’ faces, introduce a human quality into a supernatural scene. Murillo’s various Virgin and Child compositions had a great impact on later Catholic Church imagery. The shimmering light, and soft delicate forms of the cherubs, all with their own movement, also anticipate 18th-century art. Murillo’s images of children were particularly popular with 18th-century English collectors and artists. Sometime at the end of the 18th century the Virgin and Child’s faces were cut out for sale and were not re-united with the rest of the painting in England until the 1860s.