In this drawing, Tanzio da Varallo studied the drapery for the kneeling Virgin Mary in an Annunciationpainting now presumed lost during World War II. Modeling only the drapery in detail, da Varallo explored how the fabric would lie on the Virgin's body, how much of the body's structure he should reveal, how to attractively yet convincingly arrange the folds, and how light would play on the surfaces and shape the forms. The sense of volume conveyed in his drapery studies reveals his training in sculpture.
Da Varallo usually focused his studies on a single feature. Here he only slightly indicated the Virgin's head and hands; in another study he concentrated closely on the heads, hands, and feet, leaving the drapery nearly blank.