Solomon Delane, whose father was a clergyman from County Tipperary, trained in the Dublin Society Schools under Robert West. His father had died in 1750 and his brother in 1752 leaving him the heir to properties in Dublin which allowed him to pursue an independent life. He first travelled to Italy in 1755 and between then and 1780 he was to spend some twenty years there, principally in Rome, where he was well regarded as a landscape painter. James Martin in 1764 observed that 'Mr Delane is a Landskip painter & has made good progress in his Art' and that Mr. Crone, Mr. Delane and Mr. Forester were 'the only persons from our Part of the World who practise landskip-painting are all Irish' (J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers In Italy, 1701-1800, New Haven and London, p. 290). He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Artists in London, with which he exhibited while abroad, in 1763, and also exhibited works in Dublin. He was also elected to the Florentine Academy in 1777. Among his patrons were Charles and James Hope, John FitzPatrick, 2nd Earl of Ossory, Hugh Percy, Lord Warkworth and Lord Buckingham. James Byres had two pictures by Delane in his rooms and may have been responsible for obtaining commissions for him. On his return from Italy Delane lived for a while in London and then returned to Dublin where his work was highly esteemed.
This picture is dated 1772 and was painted while Delane was in Rome. It was sold by Captain T.E. Southeron-Estcourt, in these rooms in 1927. It seems almost certain that the picture was commissioned by Captain Southeron-Estcourt's ancestor Thomas Estcourt (1748-1818), of Estcourt House, Gloucestershire, who travelled to Italy in 1772 on the Grand Tour. He is recorded as having arrived in Venice on 17 March and then having progressed to Rome, where he sat to Batoni for a full-length portrait which is dated that year (see A. Clark and E. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, A Complete Catalogue of his works with an Introductory Text, Oxford, 1985, p. 322, no. 346, pl. 317).