For a similar view of Caracas, taken a little further out to sea, see the canvas (illustrated below) of similar size, signed and dated 'Caracas 1853' sold in these Rooms 27 Sept. 1996, lot 31 (£28,750).
Born in Denmark and trained by his brother Anton in Copenhagen, Melbye spent most of his career working overseas, exhibiting landscapes painted in the Danish Antilles from 1849. He visited Las Llanos in Venezuela in 1850, met Pissarro on the island of St. Thomas and returned with him to Venezuela in 1852. Pissarro and Melbye went on sketching trips together from their base in Caracas, Pissarro leaving for France in August 1854 (Pissarro worked as an assistant to Melbye's elder brother Anton after reaching France in 1855 and described himself as a pupil of Anton Melbye when he first exhibited at the Salon in 1859). Melbye continued to lead an itinerant life, his subsequent career most notable for his friendship with the American artist Frederic Edwin Church, with whom he painted in Jamaica in 1865.