Having met up with John Singer Sargent and his sister Emily in Venice in July 1913, the de Glehns continued on to San Vigilio on Lake Garda. There, Jane de Glehn wrote to the composter Roger Quilter that 'there was the most wonderful sacred mountain near here with wonderful cypresses and stone pines. It is a most classic place ... it looks as if it were sacred to the Muses and the Graces ... Wilfred and John are doing lovely things up there'. Nearby was the Grotte di Catullo, reputedly the house of the Roman poet, Catullus. The classical associations that de Glehn felt so tangibly were reflected in the present composition, where the foreground is peopled with figures representative of the Muses.