The painting The Virgin and Child is one of his enduring masterpieces because it “demonstrates the hallmarks of the Northern European style” (Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation).
The Virgin and Child is marked for its “meticulous craftsmanship of colors and the precise execution of details which are signs of perfection common to Cranach’s workshop” (Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation) , the austere image of the Virgin characterized by her asymmetrical humble eyes typified it as a product of his studio where he substitute the workshop’s paintings for his own, thus making the quality uneven.
Just like most painters, Cranach’s paintings also evolved and his paintings for Frederick the Wise was the product of various experiments until he adopted his formal painting style when he was appointed as court painter to the Electors of Saxony at Wittenberg. His style which characterized the Virgin and the Child was Cranach’s attempt to also adapt to suit the demands of the Saxon Court (Bruce a).
Technically, the painting The Virgin and Child are one of the many paintings of Cranach about the Madonna and Child. And just like the other paintings about the Madonna and Child, it is marked by the careful selection of colors where the figure “popped out” from its background due to the contrast of colors and chiaroscuro where the background appeared to be “lighter” than the foreground. In addition to contrasting light and dark colors, the combination of marked cold and warm colors in the figure emphasized a strong “character” on the figure where the red became prominently noticeable because it was a “warm color” contrasted with a “cold color” blue. The red, which also has the symbolism of the Passion’s, was emphasized for religiosity and aesthetic value as it became distinct when it was juxtaposed by the cerulean blue and deep green color of the Virgin’s garment.