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Michelangelo Buonarroti (Caprese 1475-Rome 1564)

The head of the Virgin c.1540

Black chalk | 21.2 x 14.2 cm | RCIN 912764

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Recto: a study of the head of a young woman. Verso: another female head study. Many of Michelangelo’s drawings were intended as independent works of art, but he could also bring a high degree of finish to his preparatory studies. This elegant head was, perhaps surprisingly, drawn as a study for a (never executed) painting of the Virgin and Child.