The ancient Italian city of Palermo is located in the north-west of Sicily by the Gulf of Palermo. The city has a diverse history which has contributed to its rich cultural heritage. In 1734 Sicily was unified with the kingdom of Naples and, as a result, the political power of Palermo was significantly reduced. From 1848-1849 the city fought for independence, but it was not until Sicily was annexed by the kingdom of Italy in 1860 that Palermo was able to regain its former influence and undergo economic and industrial growth. Carmichael visited Italy during this time of unrest, and the present work, dated 1849, may have been painted during the short period of rebellion in the late 1840s.