In the 1700s, it was almost an obligatory part of an artist's education to travel to Italy. From the viewpoint of an eighteenth century painter, Italy was the home of landscape painting and the 1600s were regarded as its golden epoch when Claude Lorraine, Nicholas Poussin and Salvator Rosa were active. Sandby was unusual in being one of the few important English artists not to study abroad. However, he was familiar with Italian landscape paintings that were collected so feverishly by English connoisseurs of the 18th century. He composed many imaginary views of the Italian landscape, which fuse together compositions and motifs - such as the hilltop castle - of the above mentioned artists. Sandby consistently uses a high colour pitch in these Italianate gouaches as he attempts to capture the luminosity of the Italian skies.