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

Madonna and Child with the Infant St John (recto)

Red chalk, 290 x 204 mm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This sheet was created in a time when Michelangelo occupied himself intensively with the Madonna and Child subject. The drawing reveals the artist's penchant for subtlety and grace: the figure unfolds in sweeping lines in a silhouette-like manner, with the long, curved folds of her garment creating the impression, as it were, of a blossoming plant. Compositions of this kind were an important source of inspiration for Mannerist artists.

On the verso of the sheet Michelangelo briefly sketched a sitting Mother of God in frontal view.