The present drawing dates from Lear's first trip to Europe in 1837. He travelled initially with his sister Ann, who stayed with him until he reached Brussels. Then he passed into Luxembourg. At the beginning of September he was in Switzerland and later that month he crossed over the border into Italy.
On his arrival in Florence he was overwhelmed by the artistic sites, he wrote to Ann: '...I cannot tell you about the galleries- the pictures- the statues- the churches- the tombs of Michael Angelo- Dante- etc. etc... It is all a hurly-burly of beauty and wonder.' (V. Noakes, The Painter Edward Lear, London, 1991, p. 44.)