This imposing terracotta relief is probably the model for a marble panel destined to decorate the architectural interior of a chapel as part of a set of the Passion of Christ. The extensive remains of a white surface suggest that the relief itself may once have been painted to resemble marble.
The artist here has used the positioning of the figures and the relative depths of the relief to emphasise the contrast between them. The Virgin, whose upper body is in high relief and in a series of exaggerated angles, is juxtaposed with the serene and passive position of Christ. His torso, which is executed in such shallow relief that the right shoulder blends invisibly into the background, is curved into the form of a receptacle for the overwrought emotion of the Virgin.