Pietro Tempesta was born Pieter Mulier the Younger, the son of Haarlem marine painter Pieter Mulier the Elder. After training in his father's studio, he traveled to Antwerp and on to Italy around 1655, where he found success with his landscapes, animal pieces and sea storms (hence his sobriquet).
Dr. Marcel Röethlisberger places the present painting within Tempesta's Genoese period. His seascapes were highly prized in Genoa, which, despite its status as one of the great maritime economies, lacked its own marine painting tradition. These paintings are not well represented in museums, even in Italy, as most remain in private hands.