Nicholas Turner has confirmed the attribution to Mola on studying the drawing in the original. Mr. Turner suggests that while Mola had many opportunities to make drawings by the sea, the present work may date from circa 1651-52 when he was working on the decorations of the Palazzo Pamphilj at Nettuno on the coast south of Rome. Oil sketches by Mola similar in technique to the present example are in Dusseldorf (S. Brink, Zeichnungen des Pier Francesco Mola und seines Kreises, exhib. cat., Dusseldorf, Graphische Sammlung Museum Kunst Palast, 2002, nos. 46-47), while an even more similar drawing of Trees at the edge of a grassy slope, with a rocky outcrop to the left is in a private collection in Paris.
We are grateful for Mr. Turner's help in preparing this note.