Numerous gesticulating figures surround the resurrected body of Christ as he floats in the sky, his eyes raised to heaven and a large banner in his hands. At the center rear, an angel has opened the door of the tomb, while the soldiers who were meant to guard it recline or reach fruitlessly towards Christ, who is surrounded by rejoicing angels. Under an arched gate in the rear stand the small figures of two holy women.
In this early design, one of several studies, Santi di Tito established the essential components of his composition for an altarpiece for the Medici chapel in a Florentine church. Only minor details changed as the final form of the altarpiece developed. The artist first sketched the scene in black chalk and then reworked the images in pen and ink. He left several visible pentimenti, notably in the positioning of Christ's legs