Dunouy spent the years 1810–15 in Naples at the behest of its queen, Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat. Royal patronage enhanced his reputation and it is probable that this modestly-sized painting was intended for sale to a well-to-do visitor to the city. An inscription on the back suggests that an early owner was a member of the Barre family of engravers, medalists, and sculptors, who belonged to the cultivated milieu of the Monnaie de Paris, the French government institution charged with the minting of coins and medals.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Dunouy / 1813
[Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London]; Eugene V. Thaw, New York (until 2009)
Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. Ed. Jennifer Tonkovich. New York, 2011, p. 120, no. 56, ill. (color), calls it Castel Sant'Elmo, from Chaia, Naples".
Octagonal paper label (on stretcher), inscribed: No [54? (last digit illegible)] / Mme Barré