Albrecht Durer adds considerable contrast in this artwork, putting definition on the stomach muscles as well as shadows to the left hand side. This then creates the impression of a light source from the right. The muscular model points his finger to an imaginary object, making it likely that this scene was preparation for a single figure in a more complex composition. The artist dated it at 1508, offering art historians another clue as to who the figure is and why Durer was drawing a portrait of him.
The artist would sometimes go into only light detail and include several versions of the same object on the same piece of paper. In this case the detail is substantial and can be presented as an artwork in its own right. It could be applied directly to a painting, just adding colour tones and the remaining parts of the scene. Whilst impressing with his anatomical sketches, Durer was skilled in many other mediums, such as watercolour and engraving. His ambitions were limitless and his output was productive and relentless.