But of all the many depictions of this subject, I am drawn to this one because it seems to be the only one that depicts a very natural tenderness between a real mother and her son. Jesus is not a miniature adult in a baby's body, and the Virgin Mary is not distancing herself from her divine Son. He is a real baby, and she is a real mother. She is holding him tight and close so their faces touch, as if she just gave him a sweet, motherly kiss on the cheek. And it is as if Jesus is actually gushing... complete with the wiggling of toes like a baby would do in a candid moment like this!
I almost wish John the Baptist wasn't featured in this painting, because he just seems to be a third wheel, and really contributes nothing to the scene except that he fills up the empty space on the right side of the composition. But aside from that, I absolutely love this painting because it shows the love of a mother in a real way, which in turn gives us a glimpse of the kind of love that God has for us.
Madonna della Seggiola