This elegant tondo exemplifies the figure types and proportions that characterize the work of Luca Signorelli in the mid- to late 1490s, as particularly evident in pictures painted at Città di Castello, such as the Adoration of the Magi (Paris, Louvre); the Adoration of the Shepherds (London, National Gallery, inv. NG1133); and the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian (Città di Castello, Pinacoteca Comunale). During this period, Signorelli had one or possibly two gifted assistants working alongside him, who doubtlessly worked on these complex and demanding campaigns. One of these assistants may have been responsible, at least in part, for the execution of the present work, which is based on a cartoon created by the master and harmoniously adapted to the tondo format.
The composition of the present work relates to Signorelli's Madonna and Child in the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, whose dating remains uncertain. Variations from the Bergamo picture, however, include the omission of the haloes, the less sharply inclined head of the Madonna, and the addition of an elegant, stylized landscape - deftly rendered with just a few strokes of the artist's brush - which occupies the additional space at left and right, situating the holy figures in a mystical, otherworldly realm.