Francesco moved to Venice permanently three years prior to painting the present picture in 1578, the year of his marriage to Giustina Como. He opened his own workshop there but still maintained a close relationship with his father Jacopo, who assisted in the design and execution of a series of paintings for the ceiling of the council chamber in the Doge's palace. In addition to major commissions such as this, Francesco painted a number of nocturnes, for which he showed a particular aptitude, in order to satisfy a growing demand in the art market at this time. Many of these were variations of designs by Jacopo, for example the Four Seasons in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and the allegories of Fire and Earth in the Sammlung Lichtenstein, Vaduz. Whilst the present canvas displays obvious affinities with Jacopo's various treatments of the same subject the compositional arrangement appears to be of Francesco's own invention. Despite enjoying considerable success in Venice, Francesco suffered from depression in his last years. Worn out by painting, ill with tuberculosis and obsessed with a persecution mania, in November 1591 he threw himself from a window of his house in San Canciano, the house in which Titian lived, and died three months later from his injuries.