Study of Two Standing Figures was put together for his later painting, Adoration of the Magi. You will see from the final artwork that there was a lot of detail requiring careful planning by the artist. Much of the content is figurative, though, and that is one area in which Botticelli was highly proficient.

The comparisons between underdrawing and finished detail in sketches such as Dante and Beatrice reveal how the artist would amend his portraits, typically the poses and positions in which they were placed around each other.

Botticelli would complete his detail with flourishes of light and dark colours in order to add contrast to a more detail structure. Typically he would use lighter colours to bring out the clothing of the portrait figure, whilst darker areas would be used to indicate shadows, such as in the bends of the knees or elbows.

This famous Florentine would practice portraiture throughout his life but no artist would ever get to the point where they genuinely felt that they had completely mastered the genre. It was an ongoing process of anatomical study and practice, improving over time but never reaching the end. Some of the finest exponents of drawing, beyond the Italian Renaissance, include Gustav Klimt and Albrecht Durer.

The two figures captured here can be seen in the final fresco, to the front left of this complex scene. The amount of detail found in The Adoration of the Magi means that members of Botticelli's studio may have helped out with both the study drawings and elements of the final painting. It is even possible that this study sketch may even have been produced by Botticelli's student Filippino Lippi, because of the intricate contrasts from other Botticelli drawings.