Callcott painted this picture in 1828, the year after his honeymoon trip to Italy, probably from sketches made on the spot during the journey. His wife was the widely-admired Maria Graham (née Dundas), a writer on travel and painting, and an illustrator. Dramatically lit and with a fine sense of distance and colour, Callcott’s landscapes are well arranged, airy, and poised, their articulate spaces adorned by graceful figures choreographed in groups.
Callcott trained first as a musician, but gave it up for painting. He studied portraiture under Hoppner and became highly successful, though he gave that up, too, for landscapes, and earned his knighthood as Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures in the last year of his life. He was also a friend of Turner, although his work loses by comparison.