Oil on canvas; 35 by 26 ½ in; 89 x 67.5 cm; held in 18th century style gilt frame.
Provenance: Private Collection, Scotland
Not a great deal is known of the life of Nicola Viso (fl.1724-1742). However, the first date to be associated with the artist is 1724, for a landscape in the Celestini collection, Milan. He was recorded as a pupil of Leonardo Coccorante, and it would appear that Viso formed his picturesque style as a landscape and marine painter mainly from the examples of his native Naples, looking to his master and Salvator Rosa for inspiration.
The present painting is typical of his decorative style compounding elements of imaginary ruins, figures and ideal settings that also echo Locatelli and the Roman Bamboccianti in feeling. Such compositions were avidly sought by travellers embarking on the grand tour across the continent and were stable pictures in many English country house collections of the 18th century.