Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 14 October 1999, lot 158, where acquired by the present owner.
Along with Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Bidauld was probably the best exponent of neoclassical Italian landscape painting and indeed it is this for which he is most remembered. In 1823 he became the first landscape painter to be admitted to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and he won a gold medal at the Paris Salon in 1812.
Bidauld would have first visited Tivoli in or soon after 1785 when he went to Rome for the first time, sent by his patron, the dealer and perfumer Dulac, and Cardinal de Bernis. Here he immersed himself in the small circle of resident French neoclassical painters, becoming close friends with Nicolas-Antoine Taunay and Guillaume-Guillon Lethière (both of whom are represented in the current sale, see lots 20 and 101 respectively) and indeed became brother-in-law to the latter. The crisp Italian light and well-ordered composition of the present painting are typical of his work after 1785.