The present paintings are typical of the architectural fantasies favoured by tourists on The Grand Tour to take home as souvenirs. Although Italy had been a favoured destination for the traveller since at least the 15th century, round 1700 the Grand Tour became a vital element in the education of any Northern European youth. Young gentlemen were not only meant to visit the archaeological sites of interest, but also to learn about classical virtues and ideas. The discovery of Pompeii in 1738 and the excavation of its sites provided a further stimulus for tourism.
All sorts of souvenirs for the tourist were produced: marble inlaid tables, medals, cameos, architectural models, sculptures and vases. Among pictures, the vedute and capricci found most favour. The first were chiefly of town views, mostly of Rome and Venice, of which the work of Canaletto and Van Lint are typical. The second genre was developed in Rome at the end of the 17th century among others by Viviano Codazzi, for whose contribution to the genre, see D. Ryley Marshall, Viviano and Niccolo Codazzi and the Baroque Architectural fantasy, 1993.