The drawings of the Renaissance masters have been famously difficult to attribute and even harder to find in good condition all these centuries later. Such a medium is fragile and often under valued, leading to most sketch work being damaged beyond repair over the years.

Some have described this drawing as inept or grotesque, harsh opinions indeed. There is, however, a fair point to be made which is that this is clearly not up to the technical level of an artist like Michelangelo and so the attribution has to be called into question.

This particular artwork was discovered in the 1980s and at that time attributed to the great master. In more recent years there has been considerable doubt thrown upon this, though. It seems more likely to have been created a friend or colleague of the great man.

There is sufficient work left from Michelangelo's career in this medium for us to accurately compare different sketches and conclude attribution of artist as well as have a good estimate on its creation date.

There are still some who believe that this could indeed be the work of Michelangelo. They point to the twisting head and neck which is technically impressive. This can be referred to as serpentinata. Many of the artist's drawings would display the female beauty, often actually going beyond the reality of the model's appearance.

Florentine artists were particularly well known for this content although Renaissance Italy was spawned from many more than just one region. Venice, Rome and Florence were the dominant papal regions.