In 1840 Hofland was commissioned by Lord Egremont to paint a series of views of Italy. Having never previously travelled on the continent he subsequently spent nine months in the vicinity of Rome and Naples, and on his return completed five of an anticipated series of twelve Italian subjects. In 1842 he exhibited a drawing of this subject at the Royal Academy, no. 948, which presumably served as the basis for the composition of the present work. Illness prevented further progress, however, and he died in January 1843.
In 1892, when Lord Egremont's collection was sold, this was one of three paintings of Italian views by Hofland that were included in the sale. The other two being a view of The City and Bay of Salerno (lot 113) and a View of Naples – a sketch (lot 114). A fourth painting by Hofland, a sketch for his celebrated view of Jerusalem in the Leicester Collection at Tabley House, was also included in the sale (lot 115).
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