Brian Allen, in his Checklist of Paintings (op.cit, p. 178, nos. 134-5), lists two 'Scenes from The Tempest', datable to c.1745. The present picture is believed to be a preparatory version for the larger upright composition which would have hung in the Loggia of the Prince of Wales' pavillion at Vauxhall Gardens. The latter was painted for Jonathan Tyers, the proprietor of Vauxhall, and was probably the picture included in his posthumous sale in these Rooms on 28 April 1830, lot 28, together with a scene from As You Like It - believed to be 'The Wrestling Scene', now in Tate Britain, London.
Francis Hayman was one of the most respected artists of his own day and a central figure in the mid-18th Century art world in London. He initially trained as a scene painter, and counted the great actor David Garrick among his friends. In 1745, around the date of the present work, he portrayed Garrick in a double portrait with William Windham of Felbrigg (B. Allen, op.cit., p. 91, no. 10).