This view of Lagonegro, a medieval town on the western slope of the Sirino mountains was executed by Châtelet between 1780 and 1781 during his trip to Southern Italy in the company of Louis-Jean Desprez and Dominique-Vivant Denon. This and other landscape illustrations were commissioned for the Abbé de Saint-Non's travel book Voyage pittoresque, ou description historique des royaumes de Naples, et de Sicilie, published in five volumes between 1781 and 1786. Along with Desprez, Châtelet was responsible for the largest number of illustrations engraved for the book and these were to be the artist's most important commission during his lifetime. Other artists to have contributed include Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Hubert Robert, Jean-Pierre Houel and Saint-Non himself.
Châtelet was also a fervent revolutionary and a member of the Jacobin Tribunal. After the fall of Robespierre in 1794, his involvement in radical politics led to his imprisonment and eventual death by guillotine.