This lively view of Covent Garden Market is taken from the South-East of the piazza looking West towards Inigo Jones's church of St. Paul's, completed in 1633, with Henrietta Street to the left and King Street to the right. The doric column and sundial surmounted by a sphere was erected in the centre of the piazza in 1668-1669, but was later demolished in 1790. To the right, the Northern side of the square is bordered by a terrace of houses above arcades, while the Southern side is lined with fruit and vegetable stalls. The wooden stalls within the railings of the square were built as shops in 1705-06.
The present work is one of several versions of a larger picture by the artist dated 1735 in a British private collection. Other versions, to which it is closely related, are in the collections of the Tate (dated 1737) and the Guildhall Art Gallery, although it differs from these with the atmospheric additions of the boy with hoop and figures in the far right foreground. Covent Garden expanded rapidly in the 1730s and 1740s, becoming a popular subject with London artists, many of whom lived in the area, and were attracted by its vibrant cross-section of urban life.
Balthasar Nebot was of Spanish origin, but is recorded as having married in London around 1729-30. He had a particular interest in market scenes as well as painting individual fish, fruit and vegetable stalls. He initially specialised in topographical scenes of London, but by the 1760s was painting views of Yorkshire, including a series of pictures of the Park at Studley Royal, and Fountains Abbey.