This drawing is a small-format preliminary study for an altar painting. Such sketches of complete compositions allowed artists to visually test their ideas. In this case, the artist was particularly concerned to study the poses of the individual figures, their relative positions, and their distribution on the picture plane, which has been sketched in with heavy lines. The figure kneeling in the foreground at left has been particularly impressively defined. The Pala di Sarzana was realized on the basis of this compositional study. This altar painting with an enthroned Madonna with Child and eight saints is dated to 1528. Vasari describes the circumstances surrounding its creation in his biography of Andrea del Sarto. The altar painting was formerly in the collection of the Kaiser Friedrich-Museum (Berlin), but was destroyed in 1945.