This sensitive study shows a recumbent male nude reclining on the recto and the outline of a standing figure on the verso. This page seems likely to have come from a sketchbook Constable was using in 1808 when he was recorded drawing in the Life Academy at the Royal Academy.
The rapid sketches were probably made whilst Constable was establishing the view of each pose he wanted to take. We know that in 1808 he was also making studies from the life in oil and larger finished drawings. Although Constable was already an established landscape painter, who had exhibited a number of landscapes in the annual Royal Academy exhibiton, he was conscious of the importance of drawing from the living model. Joshua Reynolds, writing in the Twelfth Discourse, had stressed the necessity of the young artist returning to the living model when preparing a painting. Constable certainly retained the studies he made at the Academy in 1808 using them in compositions he made much later in his career.