As paper was still relatively expensive and rare in 16th century Italy, artists such as Federico Barocci often used both sides of the paper for their compositions. Art historians use the term recto to refer to the front of the sheet, and verso to refer to the back of the paper.



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Recto
Nude studies for the Virgin Mary; drawings for the Virgin Mary's head
black chalk and charcoal with rubbing, incised, highlighted with
white on blue paper, 10 3/8 x 13 3/4 in.
Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, Polo Museale Fiorentino
Photo: Scala / Ministero per i Beni e le Attività culturali / Art Resource, NY

Verso
Nude study for the Virgin Mary, reversed