The Arcadian atmosphere of this imaginary landscape, with its translucent washes of colour and reverence to the classical past, perfectly suited the Rococo taste of the period. It was pictures like the present lot that made Hubert Robert hugely commercial throughout Europe and Russia. This composition can probably be dated to the period after Robert's return to France from Italy in 1765. During the 11 years he spent between Rome and Naples, when he also worked in the studio of Giovanni Paolo Panini, Robert created many notebooks with beautiful drawings of classical ruins, which he used extensively after his return to Paris. By the 1770's he had developed his mature style as draughtsman, and during this decade he was creating evocative pictures of fashionably dilapidated gardens for several aristocratic clients. His contribution to garden design was not necessarily in creating practical ground plans, but instead in providing atmospheric inspiration.