The present drawing is a preparatory study for the Nativity frescoed by Vasari in 1542 in the convent of S. Margherita in his native Arezzo. Destroyed during World War II, the painting is known from a photograph (Corti, op. cit., no. 27, ill.) and from a smaller replica on slate showing the same composition (Härb, op. cit., 2015, no. 64.3, ill.). In developing the motif of the Child playing with the Virgin's veil, Vasari was clearly inspired by Raphael's Madonna of Loreto (Musée Condé, Chantilly), a work he praised in the Vite. Over a rapid study of black chalk, Vasari worked up the composition in pen and brown ink and wash in his characteristic style. While only one other study for the S. Margherita fresco has survived, a detailed study of Saint Joseph in Stockholm (ibid., no. 65, ill.), the architectural motif in the background also appears in a sheet in the Louvre (ibid., no. 97, ill.), which Härb tentatively considers an early study for the conventual fresco.