Raphael's exquisite drawings reveal his meticulous preparation for the compositions he painted. Traditionally, young male assistants were used by Renaissance artists to model female figures, a practice Raphael followed in his early work. In Rome, however, he was one of the first to use female models for life drawing, as here. He also realised the potential of the new medium of red chalk for descriptive outlines and subtle modelling. This study and the smaller sketches next to it are connected with frescoes of Cupid and Psyche Raphael planned in 1518 for the villa beside the river Tiber of the wealthy banker Agostino Chigi.