Franceso Foschi was born in Ancona on 21 April 1710 to a noble family and, as early as 1726, is listed in records as belonging to the studio of Francesco Mancini. He may also have studied with the Roman landscape painter Francesco Antinozzi at an even earlier date. By 1729, the Foschi family had moved to Rome, where Francesco was exposed to a new style of view painting that had recently emerged as a means of providing wealthy Grand Tour travelers with souvenirs of their journies. The foremost view painter in Rome at this time was Gaspar Van Wittel, with whom Foschi may have apprenticed; certainly, the young artist was strongly influenced by the elder statesman's vedute. Though Foschi apparently excelled in the genre, few view paintings by him are known to exist (see, for instance, the Port of Pesaro, dated 1768, Cassa di Risparmio, Pesaro). In 1746, Foschi, now the head of his own family, moved to Loreto where he continued to paint as well as working as an art dealer, not uncommon among artists in that period. His particular devotion to snowy winter scenes made him unique among his Italian contemporaries. Foschi moved twice more during his lifetime: to Pesaro in 1755, where he was made a count; and finally, back to Rome in 1764. Foschi died on 21 February 1780.
We are grateful to Marietta Vinci-Corsini for suggesting that this painting dates to the 1770s, which is acknowledged to be Foschi's best period.