Flaxman was the son of a sculptor and he became one of the foremost European neo-classical sculptors of his day. In 1810 he was appointed the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. This drawing is a tracing from a book published in Paris in 1770, 'Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grece'. The book with its views of ancient Greek buildings was very influential in spreading the taste for the neo-classical style in the eighteenth century. The tracing was probably made by Flaxman as part of his background research for the Academy lectures which he delivered annually from 1811.