Lear first visited Jerusalem in the Spring of 1858 arriving in Holy Week. Lear made several drawings during this visit, which he used as a basis for later watercolours. Another watercolour from this view point, dated 1859 and painted for Lady Waldegrave was sold Christie's, London, 29 July 1977, lot 174 and another dated April 24 1858 and numbered 83 was sold Christie's, London, 22 June 1962, lot 25.
Lear returned to Jerusalem in 1867 setting off on camels across the dessert, eventually arriving in Jerusalem in mid-April. When he arrived he thought Jerusalem more beautiful than ever. He had missed Nazareth and Galilee before and wanted to reach there this time. However the route was crammed with pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem for Easter and he was forced to turn back.