This view is an example of a capriccio painting. This term is used to describe works that combine real and imagined architecture and topography to create fantasy views. This watercolour is based on the ruins of the east end of the Arch of Constantine in the Forum in Rome, Italy. Prout has altered the appearance of the Arch by moving the round relief sculpture higher up the ruin and adding in the additional archway beneath it.
Prout began to make capriccio paintings and watercolours later in his career. This view was probably made in the early 1840s. A label on the back of the watercolour's original frame suggests the painting may have been exhibited at the Old Watercolour Society in 1843.