The artwork can be traced back to 1810 as being part of the Royal Collection in the UK, but may well have already been there for many years previously. This is a double sided drawing, one of many produced by Michelangelo as a way of making use of every spare piece of paper. On the other side (verso) you will find sketches for a Resurrection of Christ fresco.

On this side (recto) is the much better known part which depicts Tityus lying on a rock as a vulture rips aggressively at his liver. The Royal Collection of the British Royal Family is spread around several venues with some other pieces loaned out across the world. This particular drawing can be found at the Royal Library in Windsor.

This drawing was one part of the huge collection of work that Michelangelo gifted to his close friend, Tommaso dei Cavalieri, over the many years of their friendship. In terms of drawings, he also passed on The Rape of Ganymede and The Fall of Phaethon as well as countless sonnets and letters. The artist would leave no doubt as to the strength of love that he felt for the gentleman forty years his junior.

An interesting side point to their relationship is that Michelangelo would help to train his understudy as a draughtsman and many of his gifts may also have been intended to help the young man learn more about the craft in which his friend was so very gifted.