Vernet’s landscape is dominated by a colossal rock face. Its sheer scale is highlighted by the figures and buildings dotted along its surface, which seem minute by comparison. The rugged stone and crashing water create a sense of drama, emphasising the power of nature.
This is one of the earliest dated works by Vernet and was painted during a visit to Italy. Vernet would become the leading French landscape artist of the eighteenth century and had a significant influence on English artists of the same period.