Herman van Swanevelt was active in France and Italy. In 1629, he travelled to Rome, where he became extremely successful, receiving prestigious commissions from such patrons as the Barberini family and the Vatican. He left Rome for Paris in 1641, where he became a member of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1651 and assisted in the decoration of the Cabinet de l'Amour of the Hôtel Lambert.
His landscapes, such as the present lot, are an important link between the Dutch Italiantes of the first generation, for example Van Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenbergh, and those of the second generation, such as Jan Both, Jan Baptist Weenix and Nicholas Berchem. They also show, with their treatment of sunlight, similarities with the work of Claude Lorrain, and their styles are most likely to have developed in parallel. We are grateful to Professor Marcel Roethlisberger for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs.