There’s nothing like the condescension of a half-rate critic shown toward a full-rate genius.
I didn’t get condescension from the Swinglehurst quote. I heard appreciation for rendering a Madonna that is accessible to the average viewer living an average life. Not so much bourgeois (at least in the Marxist and condescending meaning of that word) but at ease in ordinary settings--not a peasant, but not royalty. Not so much beautiful in an idealized Greek Parthenon rendering, but in an ordinary and honest (read: borough candour) sort of way.
Singlehurst does, after all, suggest that the rendering (is it a painting or a lithograph to which he refers?) well represents “the genius of the artist. As she is his Madonna, so she also might be his muse.”