Carlo was the younger brother of the portrait painter Pietro Labruzzi. He was well regarded as a landscape painter, particularly among 18th Century English Grand Tourists. Labruzzi went on a trip with one Grand Tourist, Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Stourhead, who described the departure in his Classical Tour: 'On Saturday, 31st October, 1789, I quitted Rome, with the view of tracing the Appian Way as far, at least, as Beneventum, and, if practicable, even to its termination at Brundisium'. Their purpose was to reach Brindisi, along the Via Appia, in imitation of the journey undertaken by Horace (Satire, I, 5) and to record what remained of the ancient monuments and inscriptions. More than eight hundred watercolours survive from this trip, which are now mostly in Roman public collections (see also C. Hornsby, 'Carlo Labruzzi. An album of thirteen aquatints dedicated to Sir Richard Colt Hoare', Apollo, March 2000, pp. 3-8).
This pair is a rare example of Labruzzi's oeuvre in oil, and can be compared with another pair formerly in the Galleria Gasparrini, Rome, depicting A ruined Nymphaeum, a subject repeated also in a guache today at the Tate Britain in London, and The Tomb of Cecilia Metella on the via Appia (illustrated in G. Sestieri, Repertorio della pittura romana della fine del Seicento e del Settecento, Turin, 1994, II, figs. 559-60). These two landscapes depict the typical campagna romana in the surroundings of the Via Appia. The mausoleum in the first painting recalls the Sepolcro di Pompeo o Ascanio engraved after a Labruzzi composition and published in 1854 in Rome by P. Parboni and A. Poggioli (Li monumenti di Alba Longa e del Tuscolo disegnati dal vero e incisi da celebri artisti). The ruined tower just outside the town of Albano is today better known as Torre di Pompeo.