David lived in Rome from November 1775 to July 1780, staying at the Académie de France which was housed at the time in the Palazzo Mancini. While there, he drew extensively, largely copying classical sculptures, works which would later serve him well in his paintings. He also made a number of copies after Old Master paintings and drew a variety of landscapes in and around Rome. These drawings were made in sketchbooks, which on his return to France he mounted in albums, organized by subject. These albums were kept in his studio until his death in 1825, after which his sons, Jules and Eugène, broke up the original albums, composing them into 12 different albums, and it was at this moment that they put their paraphes on the drawings to confirm their authenticity. The albums were included as one lot in the estate sale of 17 April 1826, where they remained unsold and were returned to David's widow. She died soon after and the albums were reoffered in a sale on 11 March 1835. At this point, two went to the Louvre (numbers 7 and 9) and the rest were bought by members of the family. The present location of three albums (nos. 2, 5, and 12) is unknown; others are in museums: the Fogg (no. 1), the Getty (no. 11), the Pierpont Morgan Library (no. 8), and Stockholm (no. 3), while nos. 6 and 10 were dismembered and sold, around 1978 and 1959 respectively. Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat suggest, in their catalogue raisonné of David's drawings, that the present sheet would have almost certainly been part of one of these albums, both because of its style and subject matter and because of the presence of the sons' paraphes. For an extremely impressive and complete discussion of the composition and history of the albums, see Rosenberg and Prat, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 391-407.