Preparatory studies were not necessarily made only for paintings or sculpture: Andrea del Sarto drew these studies for the hood of a cape. Each represents the figure of Moses in the Transfiguration, which was embroidered on the hood of the cape, part of the vestments given to the cathedral of Cortona in 1526 by Margherita Passerini and probably commissioned by her son, a cardinal.
The drapery study on the recto illustrates del Sarto's sophistication in creating texture and a range of tones using red chalk. Solely to develop the figure's overall pose, he made the nude study for Moses on the verso, which is much more simply drawn. While del Sarto continued the Florentine High Renaissance tradition of the large, classic form and measured pose, he also began to deviate slightly from their ideals. The nude figure on the verso may no longer quite represent ideal proportions; he is more stocky, perhaps more like a peasant, when compared to the consistently noble nature of figures by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.