Carlo Bossoli was one of the greatest of the 19th Century Italian vedutisti, painters of cityscapes and vistas. Patrons including Queen Victoria and the King of Sardinia collected views he painted during his travels through Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Bossoli was born in Davesco near Lugano in Switzerland, but grew up in Odessa after his family emigrated to what was then an area within the Russian Empire. There he worked in a print shop until his autodidactic talent was discovered by the governor, Count Vronzov. The count sent the young Bossoli to Rome and Naples to perfect his skills in the media of watercolour and gouache, which he favoured for the rest of his life.