During my recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum, I was transfixed by this beautiful painting by Bramantino (Bartolomeo Suardi). It really deserves much greater fame. It is an unusually peaceful serene composition. The Madonna holds an apple, with Latin name malus, for it represents Adam and Eve’s original sin. She holds it away from the baby Jesus. On the right, there is a potted dianthus or carnation, which smell like cloves. It is a symbol for the Virgin Mary. The curvature of the Madonna’s arms creates a swirling impression and the baby Jesus’ arms mimic this movement.
It also has a really beautifully carved frame.