Unrecorded until published by Beddington, loc. cit., these pictures are versions of a pair of similar size in the collection of the Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall (G. Briganti, Gaspar van Wittel, ed. L. Laureati and L. Trezzani, Milan, 1996, pp. 262-3 and 269, nos. 352 and 369, both illustrated, p. 261, under no. 347, and p. 283, under no. 412). The Holkham Darsena is signed with initials and dated 1711 in the same place. The version in the present pair corresponds with it closely, the only notable variation being the omission of a trestle behind the boat at bottom right. The present Naples from the Sea differs more significantly from the Holkham version, which does not include the sailing boat and adjacent rowing boat, lower right.
Vanvitelli frequently repeated his compositions: no fewer than nineteen other versions of the Darsena view are known (see for instance, the picture sold in these Rooms, 13 December 1996, lot 74).