The present picture is Hackert's only known pure seascape aside from the series of pictures he painted for Catherine the Great in 1771 to commemorate Russia's victory over the Turks in the Battle of Cesme. It was not known to Claudia Nordhoff and Hans Reimer at the time of publication of their 1994 monograph, but the attribution has since been confirmed by Dr. Nordhoff in a letter dated October 1995.
Nordhoff considers it certain that this picture formed part of a series of five landscapes and four seascapes commissioned in 1779 by Prince Marcantonio Borghese for the Villa Pinciana in Rome. Hackert discussed the project in a letter, dated November 1779, to the Dutch traveller John Meerman (Van Heel and Van Oudenheusen, loc. cit.). Completed in 1781, the series disappeared at the end of the nineteenth century, their whereabouts unknown until more recently when five of the landscapes and one of the seascapes, The Casino Borghese at Pratica di Mare, resurfaced still in the posession of the Borghese family (for the seascape, see C. Nordhoff and H. Reimer, Jacob Philipp Hackert, Berlin, 1994, II, p. 57, no. 137).
Whilst the series was still intact, the pictures were seen in situ by the traveller Antonio Nibby who described the five landscapes as by Hackert, but mistakenly attributed the seascapes to the now largely-forgotten artist Giovanni Battista Marchetti (1730-1800) (loc. cit.). Marchetti had also worked in the Villa Borghese as a decorative fresco painter and Nibby must have ascribed them to him on the false assumption that the landscapes and seascapes must be by different hands. The aforementioned Pratica di Mare picture, his no. 8, he described as '...un dipinto esprimente il casino che venne fatto erigere sulla spiaggia del mare vicino Pratica, opera del Marchetti'. Under his no. 10, he notes 'un altro dipinto dal Marchetti, in cui è espresso una burrasca di mare', which is presumably the present picture.