The item found here is dated circa 1522-25 and was completed in black and red chalk with pen and brown ink on paper. It measures 541 x 396 mm and can now be found in the Casa Buonarroti in Florence. This particular study piece clearly focuses the artist's mind on the child, where the majority of detail is placed.

The Madonna is very loosely sketched, just serving as secondary importance as Michelangelo looks to work on the torso and right arm of the young child. His style was to incorporate muscle, even on a young baby. Rippling muscle may not have been particularly realistic, but the bulging stomach certainly was.

The toned muscle found here reminds many of The Last Judgement, though in that case there is a plethora of strong men in a tangle of activity. The particular fresco would be placed above the altar in the Sistine Chapel where as this drawing is incomplete and clearly just a study piece.

Anatomical portraits require immense skill and practice in order to be accurate and even someone with the ability of Michelangelo would need to work hard on his technical ability in order to continue to develop his work. This theme can be found in examples of his drawings from 1503 up to as late as 1547, and there may well have been later drawings which have not survived to the present day.

The drawings of Michelangelo which addressed the theme of Madonna and Child are significant in number. We are aware of at least twenty in total, with many more probably in existence during the artist's life but since lost due to the fragility of this medium.