After studying under Gabriel-François Doyen in the Académie Royale de Peinture, Jean-Victor Bertin continued his training with Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, who encouraged him to paint classical Italianate landscapes in the tradition of Poussin. Beginning in 1793, Bertin exhibited regularly at the Paris Salons, often to great acclaim: in 1822 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur. The painter appears to have traveled to Italy between 1806 and 1808, returning with a more romantic and graceful approach to atmosphere and light in his landscapes. Bertin was instrumental in teaching a new generation of French landscapists, including his prize student Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.
In addition to his portraits and views of precisely identifiable locations in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, Bertin on occasion would paint idealized views of sunlit courtyards, seen through a shaded archway in the foreground. As Peter Sutton has noted (loc. cit.), the present work may be compared to Bertin's View of a sunlit courtyard with a watering trough, seen through an archway, which sold at Sotheby's, London, 2 November 2000, lot 104.