Dodwell spent some twenty-five years of his life in Italy. For much of this time he lived in Naples, in the shadow of Vesuvius whose drama and enormity he captures in the present watercolour.
This was one of five large watercolours by Dodwell to be sold in 1996. Of these, two are comparable in terms of scale and engagement with the complex geology of mountains, craters and caves: A view from a Katabathra, Acrophia and Cave of Pan, near Vari.
Dodwell was also an archaeologist and published several volumes on Greece, illustrated with fine drawings and watercolours such as A Gateway in the Turkish Wall around Athens, sold Christie's, London, 12 July 1994, lot 9, published in Views in Greece, 1821.