The ancient Greek city of Selinunte on the south west coast of Sicily was destroyed in the First Punic War by the retreating Carthaginians around 250 BC. Boasting eight ruined temples divided between the acropolis (Temples A, B, C, D and O) and the eastern hill (Temples E, F and G), it has long been a popular destination for artists on their Mediterranean tours. The topography of the present view suggests it was drawn from the acropolis looking east towards the modern settlement of Marinella di Selinunte. The ruins depicted therefore belong to one of the five temples built on the acropolis from 550 BC, possibly ‘Temple D’, thought to be dedicated to Apollo.
Müller travelled extensively in the Mediterranean and Middle East accompanied by his friend and compatriot Friedrich Horner (1800-1864) and they recorded their journey in highly finished drawings such as the present one (see lots 65 and 66 for examples of these drawings). Another drawing by Müller of the same view, dated 1866, was sold at Christie’s, London, 16 May 1978, lot 315 and it is likely that the present drawing dates from the same excursion.