Having served his apprenticeship with Mathias Withoos in his native land, Gaspard van Wittel arrived in Rome, where there was a large colony of Dutch painters, in 1674 and worked with the engineer Cornelis Meyer on a survey of the course of the Tiber the following year. The focus on detail and a terse, descriptive approach typical of northern landscape painting characterise his views of Rome and the urban banks of the Tiber. His various travels in Italy included Florence (1690) and the northern cities, especially Venice. He was in Naples as a guest of the Spanish viceroy from 1699 to 1702. Particularly in demand with the Roman nobility (as attested by the 55 views in Palazzo Colonna, Rome), he received official recognition in 1711, when he became a member of the Academy of San Luca.