A student of Arthur Hughes and Ford Madox Brown in the early 1860s, Albert Goodwin went with John Ruskin and Arthur Severn on a three month tour of Italy in 1872. Goodwin continued to travel extensively throughout his lifetime, visiting Egypt in 1876, India in 1895, the West Indies and North America in 1902 and 1912, and New Zealand in 1917.
'The city of palm trees' was the name given to the city of Jericho in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 34:3; Judges 1:16, 3:13). Goodwin's debt to Turner is evident in the blended colours and merging forms of the present painting. His emphasis on light and atmospheric effect would have given the contemporary viewer a magical impression of the holy land.