Following in the footsteps of the great 18th century view painters Canaletto, Guardi and Bellotto, Ippolito Caffi is considered one of the most accomplished vedutisti of the early 19th century. Born in the Veneto, he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice from 1827-31, before moving to Rome in 1832. There he quickly found fame for his evocative depictions of the city’s ancient monuments and piazzas. His skill in spatial construction led him to publish a treatise on perspective, Lezioni di prospettiva prattica but he was also known for his studies of Roman archaeology.
Caffi’s paintings introduced a new way of thinking to the vedutismo tradition, and displayed his interest in capturing the effects of light and atmosphere at various times of day. He returned several times to the View of the Tiber with the Castel Sant'Angelo, one painting captured from this viewpoint is now in the collection of Ca'Pesaro, Venice (inv. no. 1839), and a variant of the View of the Roman Forum can be found in the Avon Caffi collection, Venice (M. Pittaluga, Il pittore Ippolito Caffi, Vicenza, 1971, no. 16, illustrated).