Although Lear often returned to England during the summer months, he frequently wintered abroad and he visited Nice annually between 1864 and 1870. On 14 November 1864 Lear wrote to a friend that he was about to 'flee away south to Mallorca, Marseilles, Monpelier, Mentone, Malta, Malaga, Madiera I don't know which - or much care, provided the place begins with a Nem.' In the end, in January 1865, he went to Nice, where he remained until April. In the years immediately preceding the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the French Riviera was a fashionable wintering place for the British, so that Lear found both friends and patrons there.
In 1868 Lear was wintering in Cannes. The present watercolour was executed prior to his departure for Corsica on 8 April 1868, with the intention of writing his last travel book.