Born in Antwerp, Goubau's artistic identity was defined by the time he spent in Rome between circa 1644 and 1650. There, his introduction to the work of such masters as Paul Bril, Jan Miel, Johannes Lingelbach and Michiel Sweerts was to prove his lifelong inspiration. While no dated pictures survive from his Roman years, Goubau set about producing Italianate landscapes and market scenes, with varying degrees of topographical accuracy, upon his return to Antwerp in 1650.
The present picture appears to be the largest treatment of this theme by the artist. It is comparable with the Market with the Arch of Titus, dated 1658, in the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, and perhaps more closely with the picture dated 1665 sold at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 18-20 November 1946.