The 1990s restoration showed the high quality of Piero della Francesca's treatment of light, as well as the influence of Flemish masters on it, both in its oil on panel medium and in details such as the basket with linen gauze, the coral, and the fabric covering the Madonna's head. The light, which realistically enters from the window on the left, is a symbol of the Virgin's conception. The linen in the basket is instead an allusion to her purity, while the case for hosts in the shelf and the necklace and pendant of coral worn by the infant Jesus both hint to the Eucharist sacrifice. The staring, thoughtful immobility of all the characters would be also an allusion to the latter.
^Marilyn Lavin notes (Piero della Francesca, 2002, p.288) that the convent was in a state of disrepair at the time the panel was executed (c 1478-80), and the church we see was not built until 1491 after the birth of the heir of Giovanni della Rovere.