Goethe arrived in Rome on 29 October 1786 and moved into Johann Heinrich Tischbein’s apartment on the Corso. The artists spent the next two years in close dialogue, including travelling together. During this time Tischbein produced this allegorical painting, which he also called Vernunftbild. The two hunters on horseback, naked in the antique style, symbolize man’s dominance — acquired already at an early time through reason — over the animals of the water, the earth, and the air.