The present work is a typical example of Camille Corot's late style, combining elements of French landscape and motifs recalled from his trips to Italy to create an imagined landscape. Unlike his earlier paintings, most of which were topographically accurate, Corot's late Italianate landscapes are, like his Arcadian "souvenirs", archetypal "poetic" paintings.
It is not possible to identify the buildings in the background, although they recall Roman structures such as the Castel Sant' Angelo. The hazy light, screen of trees, and red caps are other classical Corot motifs of this period that conjur up a Mediterranean atmosphere. As Josine Smits observes: "the more Corot's memories of Italy were transformed into a pastoral dream, he more the architectural motifs receded towards a faint horizon, shrinking in importance to become vague symbols of a culture and locality."
The quintessential painting in this mould, to which the present work can be compared, is Les chevriers des îles Borromés (Caen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, fig. 1). Hugely in demand, this type of painting played to an audience seeking an escape from the external world at a time of rapid modernization and social change.