Inspired by Leon Battista Alberti's De Pictura (1436), the first head studies on paper were developed in the early Renaissance and executed as exercises in form and psychological insight. The earliest surviving examples produced in Florence ca. 1450 by Benozzo Gozzoli demonstrate a pictorial approach to the genre, as they are made with brush and white gouache on color-prepared paper (see C. Caneva in Il disegno fiorentino del tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico, Florence, 1992, pp. 94-95). Showing a less idealized character, the present work follows Domenico Ghirlandaio’s later examples from the 1480s, conveyed in the same technique and probably studied from life. This sheet can be compared closely to Ghirlandaio’s head of a woman for the Tornabuoni Chapel, at Chatsworth, and to an old woman at Windsor, similarly executed with white bodycolor on prepared paper (C.C. Bambach, Michelangelo. Divine Draftsman and Designer, exhib. cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017, nos. 10-11, ill.).