This finely detailed drawing shows a couple sitting on the terrace of Monte Pinicio. The fountain situated in front of the Villa Medici was designed by Annibale Lippi in 1589 and is formed from a red granite vase from ancient Rome. The view from the Villa looking over the fountain towards St Peter’s in the distance has been much painted. In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte moved the French Academy in Rome to the Villa Medici with the intention of preserving an institution once threatened by the French Revolution. At first, the villa and its gardens were in a sad state, and they had to be renovated in order to house the winners of the Prix de Rome. In this way, he hoped to retain for young French artists the opportunity to see and copy the masterpieces of antiquity and the Renaissance. Distinguished directors of the Villa included Ingres and Balthus.