The Virgin and Child, with its powerful volume and solid possession of space by means of an assured structure through perspective, is one of the earliest works credited to Masaccio. The depiction of the angels, delicate in their tender forms and pale, gentle colouring are from the more Gothic brush of Masolino; except the angel in the upper right-hand reveals the hand of Masaccio. The figure of St. Anne is much worn and hence to be judged with difficulty, but may well be an invention of Masolino.
The figure of Christ is that of a young child, a realistic presence, rather than a gothic cherub. This is also one of the first paintings to display the effect of true natural light on the figure; it is this invention which imparts the modeling of form so characteristic of Masaccio, and which would have a profound influence on the painting of the Italian Renaissance.
According to Vasari, “It was placed in the chapel door which leads to the nuns’ parlour” in the Sant’Ambrogio church.
(This text was taken from the www.wikipedia.org entry on the painting, Madonna and Child with St. Anne, by Masolino and Masaccio, available under the GNU Free Documentation License.)