Despite his premature death at the age of twenty-six, Achille Etna Michellon's artistic legacy includes an impressive group of drawings and paintings dominated by Poussinesque landscapes of the French and Italian countryside. He studied with Jacques-Louis David, Pierre Henri de Valenciennes and later Jean-Victor Bertin. Although few of works are dated, Michallon was known to be exhibiting paintings at the Salon at the age of sixteen. In 1817, the the age of twenty-one Michallon won the prestigious Prix de Rome for Démocratie et les Abdéritains.
Michallon left for Rome in 1818 at the same time as Léon Cogniet, a newly-found friend. Although there are few accounts to document the precise record of his journey, he made prolific sketches of the Roman countryside and travelled further south through Southern Italy and Sicily sketching architectual ruins and single figure studies. It is most certainly during this Italian sojourn that Michallon painted the present picture. There is a very picturesque element to his compositions which are carefully balanced and pleasing to the eye. In the present work, Santa Maria dell'Assunta is visible in the right background, situated atop the hills of Ariccia, a church commissioned by Pope Alexander VII and designed by Gian-Lorenzo Bernini.