(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Two Studies of an Outstretched Right Arm (verso)

Black chalk, 222 x 198 mm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Michelangelo made numerous drawings in preparation for the ceiling frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, but only a fraction of them have been preserved. The existence of first preparatory sketches, partial compositional drafts, studies of individual limbs and heads as well as elaborate drawings of single figures that served for the rendering on the cartoon provides evidence of the artist's careful preparation of the frescoes. The majority of the extant works are nude studies of single figures, predominantly drafts for the Ignudi. Michelangelo also created nude figures for clothed figures such as the prophets and sibyls. The only documented draft for a complete scene is the early Judith and Holofernes sketch in Haarlem. The numerous cartoons for the individual figures are lost, they were most likely among the bundle of such drawings that were burned at Michelaneglo's behest in his house in early 1518.

The verso of this sheet bears studies for the right arm of two of Noah's sons in the Drunkenness of Noah scene.