This unpublished work is entirely characteristic of Marieschi's architectural capricci
. Even though the composition appears to be unique in his oeuvre
, a number of elements reappear in other works of this type: the device of a sweeping staircase at the left of the composition is often used by Marieschi to give his scene a theatrical effect;1
the ruined tower and densely packed houses are also recurrent motifs in his capricci
. The timelessness of the architecture, in particular the ruined classical temple, is in contrast with the animated figures in the foreground: fishermen haul their nets and washerwomen stand about chatting, adding a lively and contemporary quality to the scene. Marieschi often collaborated with Francesco Simonini, Gian Antonio Guardi and Gaspare Diziani for the figures in his paintings, but here the staffage appears to be entirely his own. Marieschi's capricci
are generally dated to the 1730s and it is likely that this painting also dates from the same period.
At the time of the 2010 sale the attribution was confirmed by Ralph Toledano after first-hand inspection of the painting.
 Compare the staircase leading up to a temple in three different capricci by Marieschi, all in private collections; see R. Toledano, Michele Marieschi, Milan 1995, pp. 130-32, cat. nos. 1.a, C.1.b, and C.1.c, all reproduced.