Originally built for the Inman Line, the S.S. City of Rome was an iron-hulled steam clipper launched on June 14, 1881 that completed five voyages between Liverpool and New York before being sent to the shipyard for alterations, which changed her to a steam schooner. She was then sold to the Barrow Steamship Company, Ltd., and operated by the Anchor Line in "express" service to New York until 1891. After a successful and profitable career, she was broken up in Germany in 1902. Antonio Jacobsen painted at least 14 different canvases of this ship between 1885 and 1887. Of those fourteen, two were unsigned. This painting depicts her on a passage to New York under the flag of the Anchor Line.