Samuel Palmer is now chiefly remembered for the visionary English views he created under the influence of William Blake. However, in the 1820s, Palmer achieved greater fame and success with his later classical landscapes. These were often imbued with a spirit of fantasy.
This work would have been seen as part of a long tradition of Italianate fantasy views (known as capricci). However, the heightened colours and wiry draughtsmanship of this design were very modern.
Gallery label, August 2004