While living in Italy between 1847 and 1849, Jasper Francis Cropsey visited the hill town of Narni, north of Rome, where he was based. He painted this picture there, which gained notice when it was exhibited at the Centennial International Exhibition in 1876. It was during this stint in Italy that Crospey learned of the untimely death of Thomas Cole. Like many of his works after this time, Ruins at Narni reflects the pervasive influence of the older painter. It manages to embody the sweet, sad grandeur of remote Antiquity, while it duplicates almost exactly the composition of Cole’s Italian Scenery. Cropsey emphasized the juxtaposition of ruins and notations of contemporary life.