Keyes was the first to attribute the present lot to Vroom relating it to a drawing of overgrown ruins in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (op.cit., pl. 7). 'A View of the Forum of Nerva the Temple of Venus Genetrix (Pl. 10) in the collection of Hans van Leeuwen is very different in character from the Overgrown Ruins. It is related closely to the View of the Tomb of Cecilia Metella in Leiden but fortunately has not been disfigured by the subsequent addition of prosaic washes. Instead it displays delicately tinted washes analogous to those in the study of Overgrown Ruins and to certain well-known drawings representing forests.
The Van Leeuwen View of the Forum of Nerva is a relatively late contribution to a long tradition of Netherlandish artists sketching Roman Ruins that involves such personalities as Gossaert, Jan van Scorel, Maerten van Heemskerck, and Hieronymus Cock but which later culminated in the drawings of Mattheus Bril, Jan Brueghel the elder, Paulus Bril, and Willem van Nieulandt. Cornelis Vroom has deliberately left certain details blank such as the house with the slanting roof at the right as well as the left flank of the colonnaded temple in the left foreground. In fact, the arrangement of the columns of the Temple of Venus Genetrix departs so markedly from reality that, in all likelihood, Vroom probably based his drawing on a prototype such as an engraving or a drawing. This deduction is endorsed by the fact the scale between the ruins towering over the shepherd and his flock is also totally unrelated to actuality. Vegetation plays a major role in the View of the Forum of Nerva and Cornelis includes the delightful detail of plants sprouting from the entablature of the Temple of Venus Genetrix at the left. This feature recurs in analogous form on the Tomb of Cecilia Metella and on the Ruins of a Gothic Church, a drawing now incorporated into one of Maerten van Heemskerck's Roman sketchbooks in Berlin. The shepherd with his flock of sheep may be compared to analogous staffage in two of Vroom's most important landscape drawings on the mid 1620's: Hunters before Hilly Country in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam, and a Road at the Edge of a Wood in the Victoria and Albert Museum. These two drawings representing Italian subjects assume particular importance because they corroborate this writer's earlier contention that Cornelis journeyed to Italy as a young man.'(Keyes, op.cit., pp.119-21)