All things considered, the Steven Klein image of Madonna used as the cover of Hard Candy was remarkably faithful to its original incarnation—touch-ups were minor (the vein in one arm, some colors). I would say this image looks hot as it is. Perhaps Madonna selected it because so many of the others looked like they'd require so much work, whereas this one was almost ready to go as well as being exciting formally.
Remember Madonna's equestrian phase? Here are two unretouched images from that pre-Confessions Tour shoot that also look just about as lovely prior to the PhotoShopping:
You'll remember the version we saw as a W Magazine cover:
An older-looking but still beautiful icon chooses tails over heads:
They're not Klein and they're mostly not even Madonna, but a slew of professional-looking or at least access-unchallenged images from behind the scenes of Sticky & Sweet (round one, if you count the usually correct Madonnatribe as having confirmed that round two will occur this summer) have also hit the 'Net. Fun times:
More of these after the jump...