Marlow travelled in France and Italy from 1765 to 1768. He executed on the spot drawings which he would later use as an aide memoire for a full scale watercolor or oil painting. A sketch in pen and brown ink of the view depicted in this watercolor is in Tate Britain (Oppé Collection, inv. T09157).
The view of Rome from the Tiber depicting Saint Peter's and the Castel Sant'Angelo proved a popular one for Marlow and in addition to the present watercolor there are images in the Witt Library of four large scale oil paintings by Marlow of the same view, one of which is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.