This painting depicts the Campo Vaccino in Rome, seen from the Capitol. 'Campo Vaccino' is a nickname given in the sixteenth century to the ruins of the Forum Romanum, which over the centuries had become covered with rubble and earth and on which cows grazed. Excavations began only in 1800. To the left is the Santa Maria del Popolo. In the distance stands the triumphal arch of Septimus Severus, the bottom half of which still lies buried under the sand. Taking up the right-hand side of the picture are the ruins of the temples of Romulus and of Antonius and Faustina.