A journey to Italy was considered an indispensable formative experience for a young painter in the 18th Century and Vernet was able to spend almost twenty years in and around Rome, from 1734 until 1753, thanks to the financial support of the marquis de Caumont and the comte de Quinson. He made several excursions to Naples around 1748-9, executing a number of paintings inspired by the coastline and landmarks, such as the View of Naples (1748) in the Musée du Louvre (inv. RF 1949-8). A drawing of the Castel Nuovo from a slightly different angle, View of the Place Française and the Castel Nuovo in Naples, was included in Thomas Le Claire Kunsthandel, Master Drawings: Recent Acquisitions: A Review of the Years 1982-2002.
The present drawing was part of an album thought to have been assembled in Vienna in the early 19th Century which was dispersed at a sale in Versailles in 1966. Another album of landscapes from the same Viennese source has been in the Albertina since it was gifted to that institution by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.