Colour photograph of the painting after the theft in 1984, before restoration
The painting technique is a mixed system based on superimposed layers of oil and tempera paint. The binding medium is composed of egg yolk and drying oil (linseed or walnut) which were added to the colouring matter, the pigments. The Esterházy Madonna is an unfinished composition yet it appears as a harmonious unity. Only the final stage of the painting process, the application of transparent glazes was abandoned. The painting measures 28.5 x 21.5 cm. The panel is left unpainted at a width of 8-12 mm along the vertical edges. The painting is truncated since similar unpainted strips were once cut from the bottom and top of the panel. The outlines of the picture plane are marked with straight incised lines.