This sweeping panorama view shows the city of Rome stretched out over a plain on a summer's day. A large oak tree on the left anchors the foreground composition and leads the viewer's eye diagonally into the scene, past the tourist lounging on the grass in the middle ground, to the dome of St. Peter's in the distance. Giovanni Battista Lusieri used black lead and chalk with extreme care and precision to create a luminous sheen that resembles gray wash. The effect conveys the radiant Italian sunlight, as it cascades over the Vatican and surrounding buildings.
Lusieri was particularly popular among the aristocratic English travelers who visited Italy as part of their Grand Tour in the 1700s. They greatly admired his attention to detail, commissioning views such as this to remind of the places they had visited. Several contemporary accounts describe Lusieri as a slow but meticulous draftsman, who often drew and colored his works on site.