Vernet made his reputation in Rome from 1734-53, attracting an international clientele as a specialist in marine painting. In 1750 he painted a series of four oval Times of Day destined for Joseph Leeson, later Lord Milltown. The Ashmolean painting is a rectangular replica of the fourth scene. Other Grand Tourists in Rome commissioned similar sets from Vernet in the 1750s.
Lear visited Palestine in 1858, and spent a fortnight making careful studies of Jerusalem from the surrounding hills. These formed the basis for five paintings, of which this is the largest and most magnificent. The view is dominated by the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock, and the Mount of Olives to the left.
Painted in studio of Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 - 1765)
This scene shows the Piazza del Popolo, the northern gateway to Rome for pilgrims or grand tourists. This was a popular subject for view-painting in the 17th and 18th centuries. Many famous buildings can be seen in the painting. The twin churches of S. Maria di Montesanto on the left and S. Maria dei Miracoli take centre stage. The dome of the Pantheon and the arcaded tower of the Palazzo Palma can be seen in the distance to the right.
Celebrated in his lifetime as a painter of perspective and of animals and landscape, Uccello was a versatile artist who worked at times on mosaic and stained glass design. This painting is a late work, probably of c. 1470. It is a highly original painting, both as a nocturnal landscape and as a brilliantly structured composition.