Exceptionally large, this powerful double-sided sheet of male nudes in various poses by Battista Franco can be dated to 1536-40, at the peak of the artist’s admiration for the graphic work of Michelangelo (1475-1564). On the recto is a study of a figure in profile, possibly for a Crucified Christ, with a standing figure, while on the verso is a man pen in hand and lost in thought, seated by a table with a rapidly indicated statuette. When it appeared on the Paris art market in 1924 the sheet was attributed to Michelangelo and identified as a study for the Sistine Chapel ceiling. It was A.E. Popham who recognized Franco’s authorship (in an undated annotation on a photograph in the Witt Library, London), later confirmed by Anne Varick Lauder (op. cit.) who highlighted the importance of Michelangelo to Franco’s early pen-and-ink draftsmanship.