The present watercolour closely relates to the large, elaborate version in the Yale Center for British Art, circa 1796, which is by Turner and Girtin (see A. Wilton, Turner in his time, New York, 2006, p. 30, pl. 37). The prototype for these works does not seem to derive from John Robert Cozens (1752-1786), and is perhaps taken from a view by J.P. Hackert (1737-1807) who was based in Rome. Stylistically the present drawing is close to the version at Yale, though the question remains as to why Turner and Girtin would have executed two versions of this composition. For a collaboration between Turner and Girtin, see lot 4.
We are grateful to Andrew Wilton for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.