On the basis of Ippolito Caffi's own autograph dating, we may assign this view, from a private collection in Rome, to the painter's first sojourn in Rome, when he moved to the papal capital from Venice in 1832.
Caffi was accustomed to jotting down the scenes he witnessed on paper from life, and he loved to portray both the city's frenzied daily life and its quieter corners.
The leading player in this watercolour is, of course, the Tiber with its ancient Roman port, shown in the foreground with its lively complement of fishermen and characters sauntering along its banks at the point where it is crossed by the Ponte Sant'Angelo and its alignment of soaring angels by Bernini.
The right-hand side of the view is occupied by the imposing mass of Hadrian's Mausoleum, while the left bank is dominated by the Rione Borgo Alto, and St. Peter's basilica dominates the scene in the background.
The choice of subject for this watercolour is clearly related to that of a later picture by Ippolito Caffi, now in a private collection in England, which can be dated to his second stay in Rome. Thus we may reasonably suppose that this watercolour, dated 1837, was a preparatory sketch for the larger picture illustrated on p. 135 of Ferdinando Peretti's "Ippolito Caffi" published in 2016.