François Français travelled to Italy on several occasions: for the first time from 1846 to 1849 with Corot's help, then again in 1851, in the winter of 1858–9, in the autumn of 1864, in the spring of 1866 and finally in 1873.
The inspiration which he derived from his time in Italy was to mark his style in the numerous drawings and paintings that he produced of the Italian landscape as well as in his studies "from life" produced from memory.
This drawing, dated 1865 and set in Capri, depicts the colonnade or arbour of the Villa Moneta in the island's Moneta/Tiberio neighbourhood1. The artist is known to have had a special affection for this spot, where he would often spend time with other French friends and artists such as Paul Chenavard and Jean-Louis Hamon. Français showed a decorative panel with a view of the Capri Riviera at the Salon in 1883.2
1 Many thanks to Professor Jobst C. Knigge for kindly supplying the information required accurately to identify the villa in Capri portrayed by the artist.
2 Pierre Miquel, Le Paysage français au XIXe siècle (1824-1874). L’école de la nature, Maurs-la-Jolie 1975, vol. III, p. 641.