Nicknamed Orizzonte for his panoramic landscapes (a name that had previously been applied to Claude Lorrain), Jan Frans van Bloemen produced some of the finest classical landscape painting in Rome during the first half of the eighteenth century. He began his career in Antwerp, the pupil of his elder brother Pieter. When Pieter moved to Lyon in circa 1684, he summoned his brother to join him. They were not happy there, however, and moved to Rome, where Orizzonte was to stay for the rest of his career, a prominent member of the Bamboccianti (the confraternity of Dutch and Flemish artists active in Rome). He married there in 1693, and Vanvitelli was the godfather of his first child.
Orizzonte was inspired by the landscapes of Poussin, whose influence was blended with the Flemish landscape tradition. This mix was to anticipate in many ways the view paintings of the eighteenth century, marking an important shift away from the classically orientated Roman landscapes of his French predecessors.