Murillo is best known in England for his depictions of beggar boys and urchins. These were the works eagerly sought by collectors in the eighteenth century - but Murillo's contemporary fame rested primarily upon his religious paintings. He became the most successful painter in Seville, where he worked all his life. The popularity of his work was due to his ability to paint Holy figures in an accessible manner; although here the Madonna is borne up by clouds, her beauty is of the people, neither aristocratic nor otherworldly. The rosary, grasped by the Infant Jesus' chubby fingers, was an aid to prayer, but here the beads are also a toy - a touching reminder of Christ's vulnerable shared humanity.