This heavily draped figure may be Saint Mary Magdalene or a monastic saint. An energetic tangle of line represents a crucifix floating above her, surrounded by angels. In the lower left lies one of her attributes, a skull, representing penitence and the transience of life.
Antonio Guardi approached this drawing with the same fluid freedom he demonstrated in his paintings. He began with an ample red chalk underdrawing, followed with loosely applied pale reddish-brown washes. He then reinforced these areas with occasional broad accents of pen and added energy with liberal touches of white gouache highlights. The fluency of the wash combined with the energy of his handling conveys a sense of luminosity, while the startling chiaroscuro effects typify Guardi's approach to light and shadow. He probably made this drawing as a study for a small devotional painting, though it may also have simply been an exercise in drawing.